Mark Penn

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Mark Penn: How Obama Could Lose

Ex-Hillary strategist advises him not to gloat, attack the wealthy

(Newser) - President Obama is looking good for the 2012 election, but he can still be beaten, according to former foe Mark Penn. In a GQ interview, Hillary’s ex-strategist lays out the ways the president can screw this up:
  • He gloats too much about bin Laden—“People are going to
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Clinton Wants to Be President, Not VP

And there are loads of loyalists spreading rumors about both

(Newser) - The Clinton-for-vice-president mania that kicked up briefly yesterday (only to be squashed by Clinton herself), was pretty misguided. Clinton has no interest in being vice president, former advisers tell Politico —but she may still want to be president. “Not happening,” one of Clinton’s top 2008 advisers... More »

Democrats' Fuzzy Math: We Can't Lose!

According to memo, Republican House takeover is impossible

(Newser) - Democrats might just be getting delusional about their chances in November. In a memo sent to the Washington Post yesterday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee argued that it was, like, virtually impossible for the Republicans to take the House. In their minds, Democrats are guaranteed to win four Republican seats,... More »

Edwards Cost Clinton Dearly: Penn

Ex-senator's fall from grace touches off second-guessing

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton strategist Mark Penn is kicking himself in the wake of reports that Elizabeth Edwards thinks her husband shouldn't have run for president, ABC News reports. If news of John Edwards' infidelity had forced him to drop out of the race, Penn said, “No question in my mind,... More »

Bush Flak Lands PR Gig With Clinton Insider

Dana Perino will be 'chief issues counselor' at Mark Penn's firm

(Newser) - Dana Perino, President Bush’s last press secretary, is joining the public-relations juggernaut run by former Hillary Clinton pollster Mark Penn, the Wall Street Journal reports. As “chief issues counselor,” Perino, 36, will focus on strategy for coming fights on health care and energy. “She’s been... More »

While We're At It, Give Marriage a Bailout

Recession, laws making it more expensive, so make nuptials easier

(Newser) - Between the recession and various legal knots, it’s no wonder so many Americans are eschewing marriage, Mark Penn writes in the Wall Street Journal. Either go with the bailout flow and revamp tax codes and the like to make marriage easier and less financially constrictive, or use similar tactics... More »

Former Clinton Pollster Quits as Lobbyist for Pakistani Party

Campaign still owes Mark Penn $5 million

(Newser) - It could get awkward for the secretary of state to be deeply in debt to a flack for the political party running one of the most incendiary countries in the world. That could be why pollster Mark Penn has ended his company's relationship with Pakistan’s ruling People’s Party,... More »

2008 Hall of Infamy Inductees

A month-by-month gallery of the year's most ignominious figures

(Newser) - As we look back at the great people who made their mark this year, let us not forget to document the schlubby, the sneaky, and the just plain criminal. Vanity Fair has done the legwork, rounding up a month-by-month rogue's gallery. Some highlights:
  • January: Rudy Giuliani's Florida strategy was
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Debate Winner? He Who Beats Expectations

McCain faces uphill battle; Obama needs to boost foreign-policy cred

(Newser) - To win the presidential debates, Barack Obama and John McCain need to beat expectations, political strategist Mark Penn writes on Politico. Penn, who most recently was Hillary Clinton’s top strategist, argues that reinforcing one’s strengths does nothing: Voters know Obama, for example, is a skilled speaker, so he... More »

How Infighting Doomed Clinton

Long awaited post-mortem details stunningly disfunctional campaign

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid failed for many reasons, the most prominent her campaign team's stunning dysfunction, writes Joshua Green in a much-anticipated Atlantic Monthly feature. Green uncovered a trove of memos, finding a team overwhelmed by “anger and toxic obsessions.” Clinton acted nothing like a chief executive,... More »

Hillary Camp Memo: 'Paint Obama as Un-American'

Strategist argued Obama's links to 'basic American culture' are 'limited'

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton’s top campaign strategist urged her to paint Barack Obama as un-American, reports the Atlantic in an upcoming article obtained by Politico. Clinton should empahsize that Obama's ties “to basic American values and culture” were "limited," according to a campaign memo. “Does anyone believe... More »

Penn, Hughes Form Crisis-Management Team

Penn, Hughes push damage control for corporations, image control for themselves

(Newser) - Former Clinton strategist Mark Penn and former Bush adviser Karen Hughes are joining forces to create a corporate consulting organization at Penn’s current firm, the Wall Street Journal reports. The unlikely pair’s bipartisan endeavor will advise troubled corporations in areas of communications and public affairs—while serving to... More »

Inside Clinton's Dysfunctional War Machine

How the primary effort failed

(Newser) - There are many reasons for Hillary Clinton’s primary defeat, and most of them can be found within the political warrior and the creaking war machine she built, Gail Sheehy writes in Vanity Fair. Invoking the Lincoln administration, Clinton called her bickering advisers a “team of rivals.” Craving... More »

How She Came Undone

Clinton's campaign undermined by internal rancor, pushy spouse

(Newser) - Bill Clinton’s interfering tenacity and squabbling aides killed Hillary Clinton’s chances to win the White House, the New York Times eulogizes in an obituary of the campaign that once seemed indestructible. “Hers was the campaign of destiny, a back-to-the-future effort to restore the Democratic dynasty of the... More »

Team Hillary's 5 Big Mistakes

How mood, rules, caucuses, money, and pacing laid her campaign low

(Newser) - With the Clinton campaign in death throes, Karen Tumulty runs down its five crucial  mistakes in Time:
  • Mood. In a season when Democrats were desperate for change, Hillary “completely misread the mood” and went with incumbency.
  • Rules. Clinton's inner circle wasn't up on them. Mark Penn thought California's primary
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Penn's Still a Player in Clinton Endgame

Will he 'fly a kamikaze mission' to defeat Obama at all costs?

(Newser) - Despite Hillary Clinton’s replacement of contentious Mark Penn with the more “ethical” Geoff Garin as chief strategist, the ousted adviser is still very much involved with the campaign, Robert Novak writes in the Chicago Sun-Times—or so he tells his friends. Those who interpreted the switch as a... More »

$14M Penn Tab Underscores Consultants' Fleecing Spree

Ex-strategist made up 9% of Clinton spending

(Newser) - Mark Penn leaves Hillary Clinton’s campaign with a hefty $14 million lining his own pockets, a new high in the skyrocketing world of campaign consultancy, and some 9% of all money Clinton has laid out to date. But ordinary Americans are newly in the position of having their donations... More »

Clinton Staff Glad to See Penn's Exit

Morale might improve, but shift in strategy unlikely at this late hour

(Newser) - Mark Penn might have shaped the Clinton campaign, but he wasn’t well liked within it, Ben Smith writes in Politico. Some blamed him for the campaign's strategic blunders, while others were irked by his huge salary—he’s billed Clinton $13 million—and private-sector distractions. “It was very... More »

Penn Quits as Clinton Strategist

Top adviser out after Colombia trade meeting flap

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton's top strategist stepped down today after drawing fire for his trade meeting with a Colombian envoy last week, the Wall Street Journal reports. Clinton advisers said Mark Penn was all but pushed out, a move many in the camp had sought after Clinton lost key primary races. But... More »

Colombia Fires Clinton Aide Over Remark

Says apology for trade meeting showed 'lack of respect'

(Newser) - Colombia fired a Washington lobbying firm today after its CEO, a top Hillary Clinton strategist, apologized for meeting with the country's US envoy, Politico reports. Mark Penn called the trade meeting an “error in judgment” that “will not be repeated,” but the remark ruffled feathers in Colombia.... More »

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