Game Change

Synopsis: Summer, 2008: John McCain secures the nomination, but polls behind Barack Obama. Strategist Steve Schmidt suggests a game changer: picking a conservative female with media savvy, unknown Alaska governor Sarah Palin, as vice president. She's an immediate hit and a quick study - the gap closes. Then, Tina Fey's impersonation, a raft of criticism, and missing her family send Palin into a near-catatonic state: she doesn't prepare for her Katie Couric interview and bombs. Schmidt searches for an answer: don't expect her to learn the issues, but give her a script. Palin does well in the debate with Biden; she finds her voice, goes off script, and goes rogue. A mistake?
Director(s): Jay Roach
Production: HBO
  Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 28 wins & 37 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
118 min

For you, picking Sarah Palin

was about winning an election,

not necessarily about who's gonna

be best as vice president.

My job is to give

political advice.

We needed to do

something bold

to try to win the race.

If you had it

to do over again,

would you have her

on the ticket?

( Whistles )

( Cell phone rings )

- Hello.

- Man:
They f***in' hate me, Steve.

Who's that, sir?

Limbaugh, Hannity,


They're dancing on my grave

like it's f***ing Mardi Gras.

That may be true,

but there's an upside

to being in last place.

You can say

what you truly feel.

- You think I've been holding back?

- Steve:
I do, Senator.

The surge is working,

but no one else

is brave enough to say it.

Romney, giuliani,


all your opponents

are hedging.

Even you hesitated

at the last debate.

A great man once told me,

"I would rather

lose the election

than see the country

lose this war."

And I meant it, Steve.

Then say it, sir.

John McCain doesn't say

what's popular,

he says what's right.

My advice would be

to get some old

pow buddies together

and travel the country

in a small caravan.

Stay in shitty hotels,

do American legion halls,

v.F.W. Posts,

have a few beers

and enjoy yourself.

You're right,

God damn it.

( Groans )

I don't know what the hell's

wrong with me.

You get so caught up

in winning,

- you start to lose yourself.

- It's gonna be easy because

there's only one message

you need to get across.

Yeah? What's that?

John McCain

puts country first.

Would you consider

joining us?

Even just for

a few weeks?

Senator, there is no one

in this race

I admire more than you,

but I promised my wife

that I would

sit this cycle out.

I know that, Steve,

but will you just

think about it?

Just do that-- just think

about it, will you?

Of course, Senator.

- You promise?

- I will, I promise.

Great, I'll call you


- Okay.

- Thanks, Stevie boy.


Senator McCain today


his most senior

campaign staff.

John McCain wins

the New Hampshire primary,

a huge comeback for

the Senator from Arizona.

You hear them chanting

behind me--

"Mac is back,

Mac is back."

A big win for John

McCain in South Carolina,

a win that he will relish.

The question on

the campaign trail was

can a souffle rise twice?

John McCain wins the republican

presidential nomination.

What a historic night.

And they said

we were dead.

Next stop:

The white house.

( Crowd cheering )

( Crowd chanting )

Obama! Obama!

( Chanting continues )

( Crowd cheering )


People of Berlin

and people of the world,

the scale of our challenge

is great.

The road ahead

will be long.

But I come before you

to say that we are heirs

to a struggle for freedom.

We are a people

of improbable hope

with an eye

towards the future,

with resolve in our heart.

Let us remember

this history

and answer our destiny

and remake the world

once again.

Thank you, Berlin.

God bless you.

- ( Crowd cheering )

- Thank you.

If he heals a sick baby,

we're really f***ed.

We're down by 15.

If his convention speech

is as good as that--

it'll be better.

Then we'll be

trailing by 20

going into St. Paul.

It's an uphill battle,


Well, as chairman mao

was fond of saying,

"it's always darkest before

it's completely black."

Senator, it always concerns me

when you quote chairman mao.

This guy is raising money

like he's some sort

of a human ATM Machine.

John, if there

ever was a time

to run a reverend Wright ad,

this is that time.

- Absolutely not.

- I agree.

There's footage of his own reverend

saying "God damn America."

It's the single

best weapon we've got.

I want to run a f***ing campaign

that my kids can be proud of,

and that precludes

attacking a black reverend.

I think we're going

about this all wrong.

This man is on the cover

of every news magazine.

He's on the cover of every

entertainment magazine.

He's got 200,000 people

screaming for him in Berlin.

And what has he done?

A man of no accomplishment

has become the biggest

celebrity in the world,

and we keep trying to reach up

and pull him down.

What we need to do

is ask the American people

a very simple question:

Do you want a statesman

to be your next president...

Or do you want

a celebrity?

Try it.

( Music playing )

He's the biggest

celebrity in the world.

( Crowd chanting )

Obama! Obama!


But is he ready to lead?

With gas prices soaring,

Barack Obama says no

to offshore drilling

and says he'll raise taxes

on electricity?

Higher taxes,

more foreign oil--

that's the real Obama.

Great job, Fred.

I thought we were

the grown-ups in this race.

- ( Music playing )

- John, it's his girlfriend.

This is a cautionary

tale, John.

It's what I'm

talking about.

( Both laugh )

Yeah, right.

Yeah, let's--

- let's watch it again.

- No, I can't, I can't! Please.

See, that's what

I'm talking about.

Now can you

believe these guys?

He wants lieberman

on the ticket.

- Of course he does.

- Disaster.

Or historic.

- Or historic disaster.

- John loves him.

It would be a strong move

towards bi-partisanship.

Guys, the base

is already concerned

that John is not

a true conservative.

Now, I don't think picking

a pro-choice Jewish democrat

who just happened to be

Al Gore's running mate

is going to alleviate

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Danny Strong

Daniel W. Strong (born June 6, 1974) is an American actor, film and television writer, director, and producer. As an actor, Strong is best known for his roles as Jonathan Levinson in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doyle McMaster in Gilmore Girls. more…

All Danny Strong scripts | Danny Strong Scripts

1 fan

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Game Change" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Game Change


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.