David Kirkpatrick

April 6, 2008

Team Clinton …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:48 pm

loses its coach. Mark Penn quit the campaign today after a weeklong controversy about his moonlighting.

From the link:

Mark Penn, the architect of much of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, has been replaced as the campaign’s chief strategist in the wake of revelations that he lobbied on behalf of a trade treaty with Colombia that Mrs. Clinton opposes.

After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as Chief Strategist of the Clinton Campaign; Mark, and Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign.

Geoff Garin and Howard Wolfson will coordinate the campaign’s strategic message team going forward.

Mr. Penn, who has been associated with Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton for a dozen years, has come under withering criticism for continuing to consult with clients as chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, the international lobbying and public relations firm.

He has also been held responsible for the flawed electoral strategy considered partly responsible for Mrs. Clinton’s difficult political position, trailing Senator Barack Obama by more than a hundred delegates and with a very narrow path to winning the Democratic nomination.

In a terse statement, Maggie Williams, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, said, “After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the Clinton campaign.”

 

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March 13, 2008

Where is the Democratic leadership?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:58 pm

Check out this direct quote from Clinton’s campaign strategist, Mark Penn:

Mark Penn said, “We believe that [the Pennsylvania primary result] will show that Hillary is ready to win, and that Sen. Obama really can’t win the general election.”

It’s become clear that her campaign’s only goal at this point is to try and render Obama unelectable in the eyes of voters. She cannot win the nomination without a ridiculous number of superdelegates joining her sinking ship even looking at the very best case scenario over the next few months of primary voting.

She’s gone on record saying that John McCain is better presidential material than Obama. I’ve read it a few places, but it looks like she’s expecting to lose to Obama, and hopes for a McCain victory so she can plausibly run again in 2012. For all her supporters who say this handling of the nomination process is just her “fighting,” I say she’s not fighting for the Democratic Party. If I were a strong Democratic supporter I’d be screaming at the top of my lungs right now. As a staunch independent it saddens me to see (well, read via web forums and comment sections) young politicos become disillusioned and burnt out by Clinton’s divisive and corrosive tactics.

Those tactics are folly and are stupid.

I’ve already posted on a great Bob Novak column wondering who’ll be willing to tell Clinton it’s time to quit. He compares the task to one performed in 1974 when Barry Goldwater, both having the gravitas and drawing the short straw, telling Richard Nixon it was time to resign the presidency.

My question is, and a it’s a question that should be coming in a loud chorus from Democratic Party supporters, where is that leadership? Where is Al Gore? Where is Howard Dean? Where is John Kerry? Where is any Democratic leader with enough clout and gravitas to tell Team Clinton it’s time to quit and fall in line supporting Obama’s nascent candidacy? That other part of the equation — the fact it is “team” Clinton, and telling her to quit is also telling Bill to quit — may be the problem.

At any rate she’s doing more to destroy the party from within than any “vast right wing” conspiracy could ever hope for. I’m not such a huge GOP supporter that I’m pleased at what Clinton’s campaign is doing, but it does make me wonder why anyone would want to actively support the Democratic Party.

February 28, 2008

The long knives …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:05 pm

… are already appearing in the Clinton campaign penthouse.

 From TPM Election Central:

More infighting in Camp Hillary? Clinton adviser Harold Ickes seems to stick the knife in Mark Penn in an interview with The New York Observer

“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.“Now, he has been circumscribed to some extent by Maggie Williams,” said Ickes, who then pointed out that that was only a recent development.

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!”

On top of this, there’s apparently an internal plan for a massive campaign staff walkout if Clinton loses either Texas or Ohio and refuses to concede the nomination.