February 08, 2010 12:00 PM

>In Game Change, about the ’08 presidential race, reporters John Heilemann and Mark Halperin reveal the human beings behind the candidates.

WHY WRITE THIS BOOK?

JH: We’d never seen a race with such incredible characters.

MH: We knew it would make a great book in the style of a novel—but where everything was true.

WHOM DID YOU TALK TO?

MH: Over 200 people.

JH: We promised anonymity.

WHAT DID YOU THINK WOULD MAKE THE MOST NEWS?

JH: That Democratic senators secretly urged Obama to take on Hillary Clinton.

MH: They were concerned the rumors about Bill Clinton’s private life would derail her.

SURPRISES?

JH: Rudy Giuliani was a pussycat in private.

MH: The campaign staff was more worried about Sarah Palin’s mental stability than whether she knew her facts.

DREAM CASTING FOR THE PLANNED HBO FILM?

MH: Will Smith has said he’d like to play Obama at some point. This is his opportunity!

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