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Clinton’s Campaign Brain Gets the Boot

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Posted on Apr 7, 2008
Mark Penn
Flickr / davidsilver

Hillary Clinton has parted ways with her chief strategist, Mark Penn, who left her campaign Sunday after his controversial moonlighting as a lobbyist reportedly angered both Sen. Clinton and her husband. Penn was said to be unpopular with other top-tier advisers, in part because of his sweeping influence over the campaign.

Update: Penn’s “exit” from the Clinton campaign hasn’t taken him very far. While he has lost his czar-like powers, he remains, it seems, part of the inner circle.


Penn has been a controversial figure throughout the campaign, alienating colleagues with his brusque manner and pursuing a strategy emphasizing Clinton’s toughness, experience, and electability, at a time when most analysts in both parties see an electorate demanding change.

Although the campaign’s statement announcing Penn’s departure as chief strategist suggested he would continue to give advice to her effort, it is impossible to overstate how fundamental a change this represents in Clinton’s campaign. Penn has had almost full autonomy to make major decisions involving what the candidate says, where she goes, and what gets conveyed in her advertisements. Even as many in the campaign had turned sour on Penn, he reportedly enjoyed the confidence of both Hillary and Bill Clinton. Indeed, he survived a fierce barrage of criticism in January after she came in third in the Iowa caucuses. But now, facing intense pressure, he has departed.

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By Dave in Big Pine, April 8, 2008 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

you threatened me “reverend”.

when i retorted to an insult from your friend mensa, you attacked me, threatened me. don’t remember?

so why are’t you in an uproar when mensa throws around his witless insults to me as he did yesterday?

your credibility and opinions are really not worth much are they?

let us pray…...

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By weather, April 8, 2008 at 3:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“if a man cheats on his Wife, he’ll cheat on anyone”
Harry Truman.

A couple that lies to each other are flawed at the core - nothing good can come from it, damaged goods.

Move-on, if Obama populates his cabinet w/quality and seeks out some of the old school in advisory and uses them(Lee Iacocca)we stand a chance to move ahead.

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By tresriogrande, April 8, 2008 at 12:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

She is such a liar, why would someone even supports her?

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By TheRealFish, April 7, 2008 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

“HRC has the creds, knowledge and experience to be a good president.  McCain less so, and BO not at all.”

Who has no organized ground campaign in this election (after all, that’s what is required to win caucuses)? The “expert” political machine that is Clinton—or the no-nothing, can-do-nothing Obama?

Who can not control her message? Let’s see, what is that message… ? John McCain is more qualified than Obama. No, no, no, let’s get serious here, Obama would be preferable to any Republican Candidate. Yes, I agree that the votes in Michigan or Florida will not count and we will not campaign there. Michigan and Florida should not be disenfranchised—their votes should count! (On that, being as I’m from Michigan: What killed the Michigan revote was this—Obama wanted to wipe the slate clean, allow everyone to revote, especially since his name was not on the original ballot and many of his supporters either stayed home, voted “uncommitted” or crossed-over to vote for a weaker Republican candidate. HRC’s plan? To bar those who already voted from voting again and only let the remainder vote. In other words, to disenfranchise the non-HRC voters from finally getting to vote for the candidate they really wanted to vote.)

I could go on and on and on. And about all you can offer is that Obama has “no” experience. (We’ll forget, for the moment, that his time in State Legislature makes his entire legislative experience to be 2 years more than HRC. And yes, he voted “present” a couple dozen times—out of the 400-some votes he cast while in the state legislature. Oh, yes, we’ll also forget that Bill Clinton was also criticized as inexperienced when he won. So was John Kennedy. So was FDR. The inexperienced have decent company.)

Hilary’s campaign is a case-study in bi-polar syndrome. And, as one who dodged bullets, I’ll end by saying nobody, no one person, who has ever been fired upon will *ever* “mis-speak” or be mistaken about it. That one was a lie, pure and simple, to bolster her supposed “experience.” If she needs to lie to bolster her toughness or experience then, as in any court case where juries are told that once they know a person has stared them in the face and knowingly lied, that everything else they say can be discounted.

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By Maani, April 7, 2008 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment


Apparently, since I have dared to show support for others, you have now decided that I am some sort of “ringleader,” and that I need to “control” my “posse.”  How quaint.

MM’s responses are his own, not mine.  I may agree with them, I may not, but I am under no obligation to “threaten” him - any more than I “threatened” any of you.

Besides, you both do such a fine job of chastizing anyone with whom you disagree, so I will leave it to you to continue to do so.


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By cyrena, April 7, 2008 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

Dave in Big Pine,

You took the thought right out of my mind. I was wondering the very same.

Maani doesn’t seem to have the least bit of trouble with all of the pornagraphy and hate speech from his pal mensa. Matter of fact, he even included him in his pep-talk to the rest of the ‘team’ earlier on.

So, since we see from this article and others, just as Mark Penn has NOT left the hillary team, (but just publicly rebuked, and possibly demoted a hair) it would seem the same for the Hillary team right here on TD.

I’ve been curious to know if they have similar ‘hit teams’ assigned to other websites, but I’ve not had the time to check.

I will say that the Kichen Sink strategy makes the John Kerry swiftboat campaign look like just a naughty bunch of alter boys.

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By cyrena, April 7, 2008 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

“... am surprised that Bush/Cheney haven’t done so already. they have shown repeatedly that they can do as they please with little consequence….”

Dave in Big Pine,

I wish I knew the answer to why they haven’t already done so, but I think it’s a combination of things. There’s no doubt in my mind that it was ALWAYS, ‘the plan’ just as Iraq was. Iraq first, and then Iran. If things went really well, Syria would have been included as well. (probably even in the original blueprint).

I think that part of the reason Cheney hasn’t been able to pull it off yet, has been the unexpected bog down in Iraq. (even the puppet govenment put in place by Bush/Cheney/Rice hasn’t ‘delivered’) and the rest I think, actually HAS been our own military. It seems to be an accepted fact that Fallon was ditched because he wouldn’t go along.

So, the only ‘hope’ would be the military, and yeah, that would make us a banana republic, but I’m thinking it would be way better than the tyranny that we suffer under this dictatorship lead by Cheney and Addington and the other characters behind the scenes.

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By Dave in Big Pine, April 7, 2008 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

hey “pastor”

nothing to say about your pal mensa member? no villification? no threat?

guess you missed that day in bible school. too bad.

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By jackpine savage, April 7, 2008 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

I noticed that the line coming from the Clinton campaign was that it was all Penn’s fault for her having trouble beating a nobody, first term Senator from Illinois.

Someday i hope to ascend to a level where i too can be a scapegoat for a Clinton.

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By jackpine savage, April 7, 2008 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

Especially the interns.  Not so much for the Rwandans, the Iraqis, the Somalis, the Russians…should i continue?  The Mid-West, both rural and urban.

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By Maani, April 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

Despite being a notorious Hillary supporter (LOL), I have never liked Mark Penn and am not crying any tears over his departure: it should have happened sooner.  Indeed, perhaps if it HAD happened sooner, Hillary might be further ahead than she is, perhaps even tied with or ahead of Obama.

samosamo said: “Here is a question I want the presidential wannabes to answer: What will you do to make sure our current dictator does not by the invasion of Iran pull the absolute power directive into play to leave him in power even if he has until the transfer of office in January 2009 to get away with it?.”

Setting aside the suspicion that some people have that Bush will do just that (attempt to retain power, perhaps as the result of another 9/11-type false flag operation leading to martial law and a suspension of elections or transfer of power), consider the following article, which suggests that Gen. Petreaus, during his upcoming testimony, may well set the stage for the invasion of Iran:

Peace.  (if such is still possible…)

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By Dr. Alexander Edelman, April 7, 2008 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Although Penn is stepping down from his title as “Senior Advisor” he isn’t parting ways with the campaign and will probably have much of the same influence he has always had.

Nice legwork truthdig!

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By Dave in Big Pine, April 7, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment


i play with people who can compete.

you can’t.

bye bye now…

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By Peter S, Los Angeles, April 7, 2008 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No need to imagine “if” you were the one “doing back door deals with foreign countries” anymore Hill…“get real”

...more spin (lies) to come on this one for sure.

It seems she is truly incapable of being honest. This is what we have now in the current Presidency. This is why we are where we are. We don’t need 4-8 more years of being lied to.

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By mitt, April 7, 2008 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hot damn I agree with you, didn’t think that would ever happen!

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By Dave in Big Pine, April 7, 2008 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

the premis of your question is interesting. the substance however can be dismissed immediately however, as the candidates, having no authoritative power, can do nothing. if such an occurance were to transpire, it would be up to the military to revolt and bring bush/cheney down. now that would be an interesting, albeit, frightening prospect. that would surely define us as a “banana republic.”

would the military do it? perhaps. would the media support it? don’t see why they would change their loyalty now. would the American people stand fot it? probably. all in all, i would say that there is a great chance they could do it.

i am surprised that Bush/Cheney haven’t done so already. they have shown repeatedly that they can do as they please with little consequence.

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By Don Vito, April 7, 2008 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Clinton not ready for prime time?  Compared to who - Obama?  McCain?  Give me a fucking break.

You foolish Obama-osama andriods have let your hatred for HRC blind you.  The man has done nothing, delivered nothing, led nothing, proven nothing of merit that shows he’s ready for POTUS.

Ralph Wiggum from the Simpsons is more capable of leading this country than BO for chrissakes.

Love her, hate her, the facts are this: HRC has the creds, knowledge and experience to be a good president.  McCain less so, and BO not at all.

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By Christopher Robin, April 7, 2008 at 7:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

” Does Hillary intend to be John McCain’s running mate? “


After all, both the Clinton and McCain campaigns are intimately tied to a single, elite public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller.

As DailyKos reported on February 24, “Clinton’s chief strategist Mark Penn is not only her campaign’s leading advocate for these attacks on Obama, but is also the CEO of a public affairs firm whose DC-based lobbying subsidiary was headed up by John McCain’s top adviser Charlie Black.”

B-M’s client list includes or has included Saudi Arabia, oil-rich Colombia, and even “military contractor” Blackwater.

Full article:

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By samosamo, April 7, 2008 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

Here is a question I want the presidential wannabes to answer: What will you do to make sure our current dictator does not by the invasion of Iran pull the absolute power directive into play to leave him in power even if he has until the transfer of office in January 2009 to get away with it? This seems to be a major reason for invading Iran not forgetting the hegemony enhancement for bombing them back into the stone age.

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By Dave in Big Pine, April 7, 2008 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

This is just another revelation that Clinton is not ready for prime time. if she can’t even run a campaign, then how in the hell is she supposed to run a country. the lies, distortions, the conflicts of interest, all show an inability to manage herself, or worse, demonstrate a disinterest in ethics, honesty, and credability.

if this is the best the “clinton machine” can do, the maladroitness exhibited should end any debate as to whether or not she is a viable candidate and deserves further consideration.

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By weather, April 7, 2008 at 6:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All we ever needed to know about the clinton’s, Vince Foster would have told us.

The threads that make-up the clinton fabric are knarly, tattered and toxic. Next.

If Mulkasey wasn’t so busy commiting Bush crimes by denial and ommision, he’d be all over this conflict of interest, but again pls. remember Hillary, little Schumer…..voted him in.

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By RdV, April 7, 2008 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

There wasn’t ever any secret over who Penn did business with. This is old news that the Clintons never thought they would be forced to address. He ain’t going anywhere—this is little more than damage conrol to get the perception out there—but read the fine print. The fact that the Clintons are willing to shovel out big bucks for this sleazy operator—gives you an inside picture of what they value and who they listen to.

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By Aegrus, April 7, 2008 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

This is the best news to hit the Clinton Campaign this year. Thank you so much, Gods of wisdom for finally ending this ridiculous man’s wicked influence.

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