The 2013 HBO film Game Change manifests a different type of campaign history: a hyperreal campaign history characterized by fictionalization and fragmentation, by affect and magnified hyper-realism. As a victimage ritual, Game Change relocates reactionary conservative elements of McCain’s identity to the “sacrificial vessel” of a mediated Sarah Palin, salvaging McCain’s political identity in the process. Ironically, this “authentic” image of McCain emerges from a hyperreal text that collapses on itself via its layers of self-reflexive imaging. Ultimately, Game Change complicates the campaign history genre by interrogating the affective memory of the 2008 campaign while upholding its generic obligation to provide an accessible account of events.
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