- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DEFENDING SARAH

For better or worse, here comes “Game Change”, the big-budget HBO film dramatizing the 2008 presidential election, most notably with Julianne Moore cast in the role of Sarah Palin. Up-dos and red power suits are in ample supply in the production which airs March 10, now being promoted heavily in such swank publications as Vanity Fair. HBO insists it has produced a “balanced portrayal” of the former Alaska governor.

Another filmmaker, however, smells a partisan rat. Stephen K. Bannon — writer and director of “The Undefeated”, a two-hour documentary of Mrs. Palin’s political career — says HBO scheduled the film to air close to the Super Tuesday primaries just to undermine her public image.

“When they made this film, they thought Sarah Palin was going to be in the race,” Mr. Bannon told the Los Angeles Times, adding there was a conspiracy afoot to “destroy” any of her political prospects.

He is striking back. Mr. Bannon managed to secure an airing of his documentary on the independent Reelz Network, to appear March 11, meant for those who want to see a more straightforward treatment of events which includes interviews with Andrew Breitbart and Mark Levin, among many others. Mr. Bannon calls the network’s support “courageous.”

The Bannon film is a “big story,” says Stan E. Hubbard, CEO of the upstart network. “Sarah Palin is a charismatic figure who burst onto the political scene, and whatever your leanings, if you have any interest or curiosity in politics, social change or the Sarah Palin phenomenon, this is a must-see movie.”

ROMNEY REINVENTED

“This is an election not only to replace a President. It is an election to save the soul of America.”

(Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s newest campaign slogan.)

THE SANTORUMOBILE

It’s still campaign bus season. Witness the big blue “Rick Bus,” bound for Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and a dozen other Michigan cities in the name of “life, marriage and religious liberty.” On Thursday, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List fires up a six-day grass-roots bus tour across the Wolverine State to support Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum.

The bus will roll over crucial territory at a critical time. The Michigan primary is Tuesday. Mr. Santorum has lost some momentum in the state to rival Mitt Romney, who has bombarded the state with $4 million in aggressive campaign ads in recent days, yielding him an uptick in favorability polls.

The bus is meant to counter it all at a down home level; stops include eateries, inns and parks. Among those along for the ride: former Colorado congresswoman turned organizer Marilyn Musgrave; Maggie Gallagher, director of the Culture War Victory Fund and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage; Brian Burch, founder of Catholic Vote; Gary Bauer, president of Campaign for Working Families; and Colin Hanna, founder of Let Freedom Ring.

“Among the field of strong pro-life candidates in the GOP primary, Rick Santorum stands out as a proven leader,” observes Mrs. Musgrave.

WHERE’S BUDDY?

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