After McCain lost, his reputation for putting his country ahead of his ambition was further damaged by Game Change, a vivid chronicle that revealed his campaign’s desperate attempts to bring Palin up to speed. McCain says he resisted the temptation to immediately set the record straight with his own lengthy account, as Hillary Clinton did recently in What Happened. “You’ve got to understand that you can’t rewrite history,” he told me. “One of the almost irresistible impulses you have when you lose is to somehow justify why you lost and how you were mistreated: ‘I did the right thing! I did!’ The hardest thing to do is to just shut up. Listen, my own campaign manager was part of a book that trashed me. Steve Schmidt was one of the big contributors to Game Change.” And while McCain has lately announced plans for his own memoir, which will reach back to 2008, he suggested Clinton had erred in writing hers so quickly. “What’s the fucking point? Keep the fight up? History will judge that campaign, and it’s always a period of time before they do. You’ve got to move on. This is Hillary’s problem right now: She doesn’t have anything to do.”