Frank Bruni, writing about the new HBO film Game Change for the New York Times, wonders if Republican presidential candidate John McCain's aides were disloyal, and what that might mean for future political candidates:
I’ve talked to a few seasoned political hands who maintain that no matter what you think of Palin, you should be disillusioned and alarmed by the breakdown of confidentiality among the campaign staff and consultants who had a responsibility to her and whom she had a right to trust. These critics say that the breakdown was ethically wrong. They also worry that it’s a warning to tomorrow’s would-be candidates that all bets are off and no space is safe, and that it could steer qualified individuals who are needed in the political arena away from it...
When I read the book “Game Change” upon its publication two years ago, I was also struck by the idea that loyalty had seen better days, and I mulled that in The Times, describing the book as a “testament to the potential foolishness of trust and the rareness of discretion. Together with the previous reporting on a particularly heated presidential contest, it sows strong doubts about whether, when and how politicians today can hope to command fidelity.”
Bruni concludes by quoting John Podhoretz's last line from his review of Game Change: “Every politician from now until doomsday should view it as a cautionary tale about choosing your aides wisely.”