What was the impetus for the book?
Mark Halperin and I had been covering the campaign for a year and a half and it was not until the spring of 2008 that we decided that we were going to do 'Game Change.' We'd been covering politics for 20 years each, but we'd never seen a campaign as extraordinary as this one. Even before Sarah Palin came on the scene, it already had a cinematic quality: The Obama-Clinton drama of the Democratic nomination fight; John McCain coming back from the dead when his campaign had completely imploded. These are characters that were interesting -- not the way John Kerry is interesting, which is really not interesting at all. But interesting, interesting people.
And then Sarah Palin enters the race.
Sarah Palin is almost a unique case because there is really no one in our lifetimes who has been plucked from such a degree of obscurity and asked to perform at such a high level with no national experience before. She had been the governor of Alaska. It's a very small state, and there's no national media that pays attention. Most people in the political class or in the national media class had heard of Sarah Palin , but she had never really been scrutinized in any meaningful way and yet now she was being asked within five days to get ready to give a speech on the biggest stage in national politics.
It's almost unbelievable.
Most human beings, under those circumstances, would have a coronary. Very few would ever have the capacity to rise to that moment and perform in the way that she performed. And throughout the rest of her story, she has these incredible moments where she is performing at a level that almost no one in American politics could ever hope to perform.