Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Throw Mark Penn under the bus

I wrote earlier about how outraged some Latinos in leadership positions were that Patti Solis Doyle, the former campaign manager for the Clinton campaign, had been thrown under the bus for mismanagement of the campaign, but that someone like Mark Penn, who has been called the "architect" of the campaign, has come without repercussion.

That, my friends, is all changing.

“Mark Penn has run this campaign,” said Ickes in a brief phone interview this morning. “Besides Hillary Clinton, he is the single most responsible person for this campaign.

Why now? Because the campaign is still flailing, and they still need a scrapegoat. And the criticism is well deserved and coming from all corners. (By the way, Mike Henry, former deputy campaign manager was right - Hillary should have skipped Iowa. She should have either fully invested early on, instead of hiring 100 field organizers back in Oct-Nov, or she should have largely stayed out. Instead, the campaign invested in things like snow shovels with Clinton's campaign logo for Caucus Day, when it DIDN'T SNOW.)

And also, Mark Penn is no friend of the working class, and unions hate him. Some very politically savvy unions came out for Obama, because Mark Penn's firm has serviced clients like Walmart. And when you go to Ohio and the unions are decimated, it's not bad to heap the blame on a DC fatcat like Mark Penn who is getting paid 2 million in a month when there are mom and pop small businesses filing in small claims court over unpaid bills.

Here once again, on egoism:

When asked about the assertion by one senior Clinton official the campaign was effectively run by committee, diluting Penn’s authority, Ickes was incredulous.

“I don’t know what campaign you’re talking about,” said Ickes. “I have been at meetings where he introduces himself as the campaign’s chief strategist. I’ve heard him call himself that many times, say, ‘I am the chief strategist.’”

Asked if Penn preferred the title of chief strategist to pollster, Ickes said, “Prefer it? He insists on it!”

Being thrown under the bus isn't so pretty. I suspect that Mark Penn will not have much political work outside of New York after this campaign.

Additionally, I want to say that Paul Begala is one of the best Clinton spokespeople and that he needs to be on tv more (as if all the CNN face time weren't enough) - he's affable, believable, and sells the message well. He does this thing where he gets you to buy into what he's saying by seemingly conceding your point but using it as a launching pad for his argument.

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