Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Who Talks Like That? The 22 Most Incredible Sentences from 'Game Change'

Screen shot 2010-02-18 at 2.50.59 PMJohn Heilemann and Mark Halperin's 'Game Change' was many things, Ana Marie Cox discovered upon actually reading as one does with a book. It is a source of astounding sentences, for one thing!

But Hillary feared that her war vote would get her hooted off any campus where she spoke. (page 153)

The political gamble here was evident, but the upside was huge: If Clinton carried the caucuses, the nomination would be in the bag. (153)

They liked him and they didn't like her, and there would be no changing that-her negatives were just too deeply cooked into the casserole. (156)

But she still had plenty of surrogates ready to sink their canines into Obama's keister. (162)

Edwards had invited Ginsberg and Rubey to supper after seeing them at one of his events. He seemed touched that they were in Iowa, in light of the circumstances, about which he knew they were better versed than most. (169)

After Hillary left, Wolfson trundled in, bearing data from the first wave of exit polls. (188)

The next day, she resurfaced and began talks with Williams about finding a workable modus Vivendi for their jointly running the campaign. (195)

Seemingly out of nowhere, the race had suddenly turned racial with both Bill and Hillary being accused of insensitivity at best and perniciousness at worst. (197)

He's causing agita for us, she said. It's not good. (212)

Months later one of them shook his head and said in wonder, "It would take ten Freudians to explain what Bill Clinton did to Hillary in South Carolina." (213)

Barack didn't generally give a fig about endorsements. But the backing of Edward Moore Kennedy was an entirely different matter. (215)

Her Midwestern frugality made her a highly nervous Nellie about debt. (221)

Even when things had been going reasonably well, Clinton had never exactly been a buoyant Hubert Humphrey on the stump. But now her unhappy warriorhood was painfully evident. (224)

For than a month since South Carolina, Obama had been in the catbird seat. Now he braced for his turn in the barrel. (234)

And not just some ideas vomited verbally; he wanted to see paper. (244)

From Texas and Ohio onward, with a loaded gun pressed against her temple, she finally got with the program. (255)

Soon enough, the story was bannered on Drudge Report and being jibbered about on cable news. (257)

The unfolding scene was a semiotician's fantasia. (259)

The path to peace between the Obamans and the Clintonites would not be strewn with primrose. (262)

But the truth was, dangling over his head was a sword of Damocles invisible to almost everyone, if no less menacing for that. The blade was in the form of a newspaper article that was threatening to drop any day. McCain thought it might kill more than his shot at the nomination. He thought it might destroy his career and his reputation–even though the woman at the heart of the story insisted that she'd never even been alone with him. (304)

Once again, Grisolano legged it over to the Brown Palace to take a gander. (348)

Schmidt wanted to get them on the horn and have the history of her AIP registration checked immediately. (367)

Ana Marie Cox is the Washington correspondent for GQ.

50 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

Wow. Obama with dogs? Hillary dressed as Hubert Humphrey, with a stump?

I mean, I KNEW these people were cool, but. . .

I was the only one who first read that as Humbert Humbert, huh?

Also, that penultimate one sounds straight out of Tolkien!

Bittersweet (#765)

Humbert Humbert would've been more interesting. And do you really think elves 'leg it' anywhere in Middle Earth?

Matt (#26)

I'm sorry, page 304 is poetry; Marlowe definitely ripped that off when he was ghosting for Shakespeare.

Mastrionotti: What do you do, Fink?
Barton: I write.
Deutsch: Oh yeah? What kind of write?
Barton: Well, as a matter of fact I write for the pictures.
Mastrionotti: Big fuckin' deal.
Deutsch: You want my partner to kiss your ass?
Mastrionotti: Would that be good enough for you?
Barton: No, I – I didn't mean to sound…
Deutsch: What did you mean?
Barton: I – I've got respect for – for working guys, like you…
Mastrionotti: Jesus! Ain't that a load off!

Screen Name (#2,416)

An entire book written by The Surrealist Compliment Generator server? I like it. "Your nose hair is pleasingly twisted with the roots of a bristlecone pine that is so precariously perched on the side of a cliff it may easily uproot and fall upon the Republican lobbyists below."

migraineheadache (#1,866)

page 304 sort of reminded me of Locus Solus.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

+ 100 ROUSSEL REFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HiredGoons (#603)

Please refrain from using 'Hillary carrying the caucuses' in the future kthnx.

What she wants with all those cactuses is anybody's guess.

grandpa27 (#804)

Should not that be cacti?

brent_cox (#40)

Hipster patois.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I'll take this into the casserole, into Obama's keister, in the bag, in the catbird seat, in the barrel, and read it on the can.

spanish bombs (#562)

Aren't you usually well-versed ON things, rather than aboot?

Plus, "their jointly running the campaign," okay…

Blogs are fine, but it'd be nice if real-life reporters still knew how to not be wrong.

"The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river."

xarissa (#3,317)

You want to think this is a joke but I live in DC and people totally talk like this. Like, in the line at Starbucks. "Those scones are causing agita."

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Me Talk Pretty One Day

jfruh (#713)

To me, the most hilarious one is the capitalization of Vivendi. Do they think that's the name of an Italian opera composer or something?

I actually kind of like "semiotician's fantasia", though out of context it's hard to tell if it actually makes sense or not.

City_Dater (#2,500)

Oh, the verbs! hooted, legged, bannered, jibbered… It's like someone sent them the Daily Variety thesaurus and style manual.

bong hitler (#3,233)

Also: "keister", "trundled", "nervous Nellie", "gander", "give a fig". Makes me want to read the book to see who wins the election, Dewey or Truman.

La Cieca (#1,110)

"Le Mot du Jour"

ejcsanfran (#489)

I'll get you on the horn, as soon as the results are in…

And if they're going to use the language of fast-talkin' sidekicks from films of the '30s and '40s, shouldn't the title be "Gams Change"?

gregorg (#30)

makes me jealous my copy of MS Word doesn't have the auto-thesaurus feature.

bong hitler (#3,233)

"It would take ten Freudians to explain what Bill Clinton did to Hillary in South Carolina." My God, the implications of that sentence. If my mind had eyes I'd poke them out.

Kevin (#2,559)

This listsicle is broken

Tulletilsynet (#333)

This must have been one of those games where you write a bit and then cover the first half of it and pass it to the other guy, who adds a bit, etc, and passes it back to you …

How else to explain it?

There is nothing exquisite about this corpse.

sailor (#396)

Jibber would be the operative word here, as in jibber-jabber

I pity the fool who tries to read Game Change.

katiebakes (#32)

To be fair, it was probably a delightful follow-up to a preceding sentence about

Flim flarmin filth.

And not just some ideas vomited verbally; he wanted to see paper.

There's haiku in this book?

NominaStultorum (#1,638)

Sounds more like origami. Covered in vomit.

La Cieca (#1,110)


dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Stressed out college kids pulling all-nighters is who talks like this.

However. In this one, "Wolfson trundled in" is kind of beautiful:

> After Hillary left, Wolfson trundled in, bearing data from the first wave of exit polls. (188)

sunnyciegos (#551)

It's the "bearing data" that I can't. Bear, that is.

spostaby (#1,081)

As a stressed out college kid pulling all-nighters: no. I don't talk like this. It's my friends who get sleep who have this problem.

Off to write a script to change all Facebook "Likes" to "Gives a Fig"

La Cieca (#1,110)

(156) could be overheard from the Interior Illusions Style Lounge. "I know she going out there in her little 99 cents a yard outfit and she thinks she giving face, face, face, but somebody needs to tell Miss Bitch her negatives were just too deeply cooked into her casserole."

Ooh, that was good. Like, "Paris is Burning" good.

La Cieca (#1,110)

"For than a week since the Starbootylicious challenge, Jujubee had been in the catbird seat. Now she braced for her turn in the barrel."

DYING OF ENJOYMENT.(Also, do they actually know what "your night in the barrel" refers to? Because either way it's kind of gross, but if they think it has something to do with Niagara Falls, it's also hilarious.

pissy elliott (#397)


Onjay (#2,679)

So was Grisolano, while taking a gander, possibly goosed?

Obviously, not a reader's journey strewn with primrose.

Fucking claptrap.

manchops (#419)

I just finished Game Change–and I realize you are probably making fun of the posted sentences, but I'm actually quite a fan of them. Hillary getting hooted off college campuses is just too good to be true.

riggssm (#760)

I finished it on Tuesday. Thought the stories were interesting, but the writing was gruesome. I decided a chapter into it that the style must have been a huge subliminal joke at the Eastern Elite Socialist Commie Faggot Big Government Liberals who are Killing America.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Reminds me. I once took a whiz at the Brown Palace on someone's leg, but the only place it got much play was on page 3B of the Rocky Mountain News.

And to think that it happened on Mulberry Street!

qualityleashdog (#3,610)

Left with a crazy handful of nothin, Obama sought a no-rough-stuff-type deal. He would prove he could bring home the bacon while others just chewed the fat and fought over who was to have the upper crust.

gilalizard (#3,931)

John Heilemann and Mark Halperin write like the people I know talk when they're indulging in painfully sharp irony and cynicism.

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