Mark Penn Speaks! What Does This Passage mean?

HRC Supporters... what is the purpose of Mr. Penn's seeming self-absolvement of the state of Hillary's campaign?  

He is CLEARLY trying to distance himself from the result of the campaign, which he apperently believes is Hillary eventually (sooner rather than later one supposes) dropping out as she cannot catch Obama's lead with the delegates.  

What do you all think this means, not only for Tuesday... but for the history books?  Hillary's campaign seems more interested in pointing fingers at this point.

Like Ships From a Sinking Rat
March 03, 2008 9:46 AM

(The "rat" being a campaign that has as of now lost 11 straight contests...)

Look at all the senior Clinton staffers distancing themselves from and down-playing their roles in Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign!

Unbelievable.

Today's Los Angeles Times contains the following remarkable passage:

Senior Clinton campaign strategist Mark "Penn said in an e-mail over the weekend that he had 'no direct authority in the campaign,' describing himself as merely 'an outside message advisor with no campaign staff reporting to me.'

"'I have had no say or involvement in four key areas -- the financial budget and resource allocation, political or organizational sides. Those were the responsibility of Patti Solis Doyle, Harold Ickes and Mike Henry, and they met separately on all matters relating to those areas.'

"Howard Wolfson, the campaign's communications chief, answered that it was Penn who had top responsibility for both its strategy and message. Another aide said Penn spoke to Clinton routinely about the campaign's message and ran daily meetings on the topic."

Last week in the New York Observer, senior Clinton adviser Harold Ickes said, "Mark Penn has run this campaign. Besides Hillary Clinton, he is the single most responsible person for this campaign. Now, he has been circumscribed to some extent by Maggie Williams"

The Observer goes on to report: "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!'"

Hillary?

Hillary Who?

- jpt

There's more...

Whatever Happened to the Clinton Campaign's "Flat Fees"?

What seems like a lifetime ago (but was only late December), Jerome posted a piece praising Edwards and Clinton for having negotiated flat fees with their top consultants."

He was basing his comments on a report in the NYT the day earlier (i.e., I'm not bashing Jerome for getting the facts wrong, though I disagreed with his anti-Obama analysis at the time).

That December article had the following assertion:

For instance, if Mrs. Clinton were to win the Democratic nomination, her aides say, she would pay a total of $5 million in fees to a half-dozen advisers -- including Mark Penn, her top strategist; Mandy Grunwald, her media consultant; and Howard Wolfson, her communications director -- for their work on her ads in both the primary and the general elections.

Well, in light of the recent financial filings indicating that Penn's firm alone has racked up fees in excess of $10 Million (add in another $3 Million for Grunwald and Wolfson and their firms) I gotta ask: What happened to the "flat fees"?

Was the NYT lied to?
Is this another game of semantics where Clinton wasn't counting fees paid to the firms of the consultants?

How on earth did she go from a $5 Million cap through the general to more than $13 Million through January!?!?!?!?!

There's more...

Grand Theft Auto Kids mow down Soccer Moms

The demise of the Clinton campaign was sewn just after the 2004 election, when pollster Mark Penn sought to explain the Bush victory among so-called "values voters."

He found that uptight parents were less concerned with abortion than the idea of their kids watching "Sex in  the City,""pumped into their homes" which they'd never seen, and was then only on cable, and playing "violent videogames."

The next year, Senator Clinton held a press conference with Joe Lieberman and Republican Senators Santorum and Brownback, threatening the game industry with legal restrictiopns if they didn't "clean up their act."

Clinton allies introduced State Laws, with press releases claiming "86% of 16 year old boys play 'these' games."

There's more...

Moving the Firewall

Barack Obama took the Demcoratic Party by surprise in Iowa, and the first firewall for the Clinton campaign was set up in New Hampshire. This was an obvious move and should have worked out well for the Clinton campaign. Unfortunately for their strategy, Obama took as many delegates in New Hampshire as Hillary did and maintained a one pledged delegate lead going into Nevada where he lost in the number of state delegates but won in the number of delegates to the national convention.

The firewall was then moved to Super Tuesday, which is where the Clinton campaign always expected to win the nomination. But a funny thing happened on the way to the nomination. Barack Obama took more pledged delegates on Super Tuesday than Hillary Clinton. The Clinton campaign panicked because their strategy went right out the window. Obama did this by staying close enough in the big states to keep Clinton's margin of pledged delegates down while winning huge in smaller states which allowed Obama to push further out. My gosh, in overall pledged delegate leads, Obama came out a single delegate ahead of where Hillary was in New Jersey from Idaho! The strategy was brilliant on the part of the Obama campaign and demonstrated an effective utilization of campaign resources.

Hillary burned through her cash at an alarming rate. This ineffective use of resources set the stage for the next several contests where Obama blew her out of the water and extended his lead in pledged delegates to a  point where nobody could claim he was not the front runner. Meanwhile, we've been treated with glimpses at how Hillary spent her money such as the Hillary and the Band video, or the pathetically bizarre combination of The Brady Bunch and Up with People called Hillary4U&Me.

There's more...

Mark Penn: Obama only wins insignificant states.

Wow, how generous of him.

Could we possibly have a nominee who hasn't won any of the significant states -- outside of Illinois? That raises some serious questions about Sen. Obama.

What a jackass.

There's more...

Diaries

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