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This article was published 8/3/2012 (2954 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WASHINGTON -- The hotly anticipated HBO movie Game Change airs this weekend just as former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has audaciously reinserted herself into the American political scene, suggesting on so-called Super Tuesday she'd step in to save the Republican party if necessary.
Palin has been complaining bitterly for weeks about the film, which airs Saturday and is based on the best-selling memoir of the same name about the 2008 presidential campaign. She's demanded HBO add a fiction disclaimer to the movie that portrays her as ill-informed, inept and possibly mentally unstable; the cable giant has refused.
Her political action committee recently released its own two-minute video, a mock movie trailer entitled Game Change We Can Believe In.
It's a collection of laudatory remarks about Palin by many of the same Republican strategists who later spoke of deep regret for pushing John McCain to tap the young, dynamic Alaska governor as his running mate in a high-stakes gamble to beat Barack Obama.
Two of those political aides, in fact -- Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace -- have said the film represents an eerily accurate portrayal of Palin's implosion following her heady first days on the campaign trail in late summer 2008.
Schmidt, portrayed in the HBO film by Woody Harrelson, recently described the movie as "surreal" and "an out-of-body experience." Wallace, who has confessed she couldn't bring herself to vote for McCain after working with Palin, has said it accurately captures the events of the Arizona senator's ill-fated attempts to win the election.
A spokesman for the HBO film, meantime, praised Palin's so-called Super PAC for their mock trailer.
"Doing the video was very effective in undercutting her critics," said Keith Appell. "She has every right to remind everyone how laudatory these people were of her in the beginning. She should do that. The fact that she has to do that, I think, is a bit sad."
McCain, played by Ed Harris in the film, has also come to Palin's defence.
The timing isn't great for Palin, who has been slowly rebuilding her reputation after hitting rock bottom a little over a year ago in the aftermath of the assassination attempt on Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Her public approval ratings went into a freefall when, against the advice of Fox News head Roger Ailes, she made a video accusing the "lamestream media" of "blood libel" for suggesting her gun-infused political rhetoric was contributing to a toxic political atmosphere in the United States.
She also announced on a conservative radio show in October she wasn't running for president in 2012, not on the network paying her $1 million a year.
But in the past few months, she's emerged as a prolific political pundit, frequently weighing in on the Republican presidential race on Fox and throwing her support behind Newt Gingrich.
Yet it was to CNN, not Fox, that she gave her most definitive answer yet about whether she'd step into the race in the event of a brokered convention.
When no candidate has the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination, other politicians can offer themselves for consideration at the party convention.
"Anything is possible. I don't close any doors that perhaps would be open out there," she said. "My plan is to be at that convention."
-- The Associated Press