Mark Penn and the Clintons go a long way. His brains served Bill Clinton and have equally benefited Hilary in her campaign. His key role as both chief strategist and pollster of the Clinton camapign is due to the high level of confidence the Clintons have in him.
This absolute confidence in him was approved to the extreme when he was put in charge of two offices that by all indications gave him an almost absolute power in the Clinton campaign. As Clinton’s pollster and her chief strategist he possibly couldn’t go wrong in his analysis.
Taking chances on such a dangerous position could only mean one thing : Mark Penn knows exactly what the Clintons want and is able to get it for them.
This brings the question of his private work for the Colombian government in relation to the free-trade agreements that Clinton vehemently opposes to the fore.
Why would he do anything to jeopardise Clinton’s chances of winning the primaries in Pennsylvania, particularly when her chances of winning are getting slimmer? Why commit a blunder that would haunt Hillary who accused the Obama campaign during the Austan Goolsbee-trade affair when she asked the public to judge what was to be done “if some of my advisers had been having private meetings with foreign governments...”
The reason behind her decision not to effect an outright sack in an affair judged more serious than what led her to make those political suggestions about Obama’s position on Nafta isn’t known. However, John Podhoretz thinks that “Hillary is engaged in a gross act of deception toward the Democratic on the matter of free trade — which she has decided to oppose solely for P.T. Barnum reasons even as she would surely support it for every good reason once in the White House...”
Does the downplay of Mark Penn’s actions and his delayed demotion indicate that his actions were in fact not a blunder but a matter of bad timing?
Bad timing because it puts Mrs Clinton at odds with her economic arguments to woo the much needed Pennsylvania blue collar voters. The Bosnian “Snipergate” story is still fresh in the minds of the Democrat party’s electorate and keeping Mark Penn only means there was much ado about nothing on the Obama’s Nafta issue.
Mark Penn’s demotion may put him under the able umbrella of Howard Wolfson, who he publicly criticized due to a slight difference in their points of view as well as Geoff Garin. This dangerous concoction of ideologies could eventually hurt the Clinton campaign, unless of course another strategy has been formulated by the demoted but omnipotent man to run things from below.