Mark Penn goes against the family

by lestro

The Clinton Mafia whacked one of its own Sunday when the Clinton Campaign canned chief strategist Mark Penn, approximately four months too late to truly help the campaign.

Officially, Penn resigned, but there doesn’t seem to be any doubt that he was asked to leave following some questionable dealings with one of his other clients (he never resigned from his firm to work on the campaign – that’s called hedging your bets.):

Mark Penn, the chief strategist behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential bid, quit under pressure Sunday, two days after reports surfaced about Penn meeting with Colombian officials interested in promoting a trade deal that sthe New York senator opposes.

But then again, that campaign has really been running around in different directions, mostly because of Penn’s failed strategy of betting on name recognition, entitlement and winning the big states of Feb 5 had no back-up plan and has been getting its ass kicked since voting started by a candidate who not only recognized the importance or organizing a national effort but that the Old World Dems strategy of winning just the big states hadn’t work in elections past…

In her favor, however, this is probably the best strategic move Clinton has made so far in this campaign.

Unfortunately, it should have been made months ago when it had a chance to make an impact in turning her campaign around…

Has anyone ever said this about a Clinton?

by lestro

For all the talk about the media being easy on Barack Obama, there is one paper that is not in awe of his celebrity because they knew him back in the day: The Chicago Tribune.

One of the big issues the Chicago Tribune has been all over is Obama’s history with Tony Rezko, a businessman who has been indicted on a number of charges. The Tribune, which did endorse Obama over Hillary Clinton despite their discomfort with the Rezko thing, has repeatedly asked for further explanation and clarification on their relationship.

On Friday, Obama sat down with a whole heaping gaggle o’ reporters and spent an hour and a half explaining the whole situation. Here’s what the Tribune had to say:

The most remarkable facet of Obama’s 92-minute discussion was that, at the outset, he pledged to answer every question the three dozen Tribune journalists crammed into the room would put to him. And he did.

Three dozen journalists, all focused on a single issue for 92 minutes. My lord. Can you imagine Hillary Clinton hosting something like this and making a similar pledge?

Neither could the Tribune, finishing the piece with this:

Barack Obama now has spoken about his ties to Tony Rezko in uncommon detail. That’s a standard for candor by which other presidential candidates facing serious inquiries now can be judged.

A new type of politics indeed. But what was the outcome of the discussion?  In a word, they seem satisfied:

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Mark Penn says vote Kodos 2008

by twit

Mark Penn defends his work for the Clinton campaign, as promised…

If we lose, I will take my share of the responsibility. I have won about 70 major elections around the world, including many presidents, and I devised the simple message for Tony Blair in his last successful campaign: ‘Forward, Not Back.’

as Wonkette points out, he’s apparently talking about the “wildly unpopular slogan for Tony Blair’s last campaign—“Forward, Not Back”—which British journalist Andrew Rawnsley wrote “is as uplifting as ‘Open Other End,’ ‘This Way Up’ and ‘Now Wash Your Hands.’”

The twit isn’t so sure, since she is always uplifted by the line we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom, and luvs how Penn seems to have missed the reference, holding his slogan up as evidence of his “success” in understanding what voters want to hear.

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Obituary for the Clinton Campaign

by twit

Ramussen reports on Feb 14, 2008 that Obama is polling as the favorite for the Democratic nomination and the general election.

… Obama is the most popular candidate at the moment, viewed favorably by 55% and unfavorably by 43%.

Clinton is viewed favorably by 44% of Likely Voters nationwide, unfavorably by 53%.

McCain’s is viewed favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 47%.

Opinions about Clinton are more strongly held than opinions about either Obama or McCain.

While Hillary’s shining personality may be a key factor in the stumbling failures of her campaign, there are also reports of massive planning failures within the campaign itself. From the New York Times on Feb 14, 2008:

She and her team showered so much money, attention and other resources on … Feb. 5 that they have been caught flat-footed — or worse — in the critical contests that followed, her political advisers said.

She also made a strategic decision to skip several small states holding caucuses, states where Mr. Obama scored big victories, accumulating delegates and, possibly, momentum.

Her heavy spending and relatively modest fund-raising in January compounded the problems, leaving the campaign ill-equipped to plan after Feb. 5, advisers and donors say.

The Clinton campaign appears to be working from a playbook that reads like a strange blend of the Bush “Mission Accomplished” strategy and the Guiliani “New York and Florida” death-rattle. Focus on the big states, ignore the rest, and expect that it will be smooth sailing to the coronation nomination, because Hillary will be greeted as a liberator, of course.

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