"Game Change" trailer: Introducing Sarah Palin

Two years ago, this trailer would have consisted mostly of beatific shots of Obama on the trail in 2008 preaching about hope, healing a leper, maybe feeding a doe-eyed baby deer, etc. Two dismal years later, he’s nowhere to be seen; they’re all in on the tried and true “Palin drama” formula instead. If you wanted to know how Hollywood feels about his first term, there’s a little glimpse. Right, Matt Damon?

I’ve never met Steve Schmidt but my sense of his personality after having read a thousand quotes from him in news articles is wildly different from a character Woody Harrelson would or should play. Harrelson’s schtick is the loose cannon, the guy who’s perpetually five minutes away from doing something nuts; he’s interesting because he’s unpredictable. Schmidt, by contrast, is a sort of archetypal mainstream insider Republican who only did something unpredictable — namely, suggesting Palin to McCain — because he was desperate to cut into Obama’s lead. He’s the opposite of wild-eyed, which is to say he’s basically the opposite of Harrelson. So why’d they cast Harrelson here? Was it just the baldness?