Patterico's Pontifications


Clinton Strategist Mark Penn Quits Demoted

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 4:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s top strategist, has resigned over controversy about Colombian free trade that he promoted as a lobbyist and Hillary Clinton opposes:

“A top campaign aide to Sen. Hillary Clinton, under fire for meeting with a Colombian diplomat to discuss a free trade deal that the presidential candidate opposes, quit his post on Sunday, the campaign 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,” Clinton’s campaign manager Maggie Williams said in a statement. She said Penn would continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign.

News of Penn’s March 31 meeting with Colombian Ambassador Carolina Barco Isakson, in which they discussed a free trade deal, first surfaced on Friday.”

Hillary is fighting for votes in Pennsylvania where free trade is a big issue. It turned out to be a lose-lose for Penn since his firm has lost the Colombian account.

I don’t see how every person working for a candidate can mesh perfectly with the candidate on every issue, especially when candidates change positions during the course of a campaign. However, Penn has linked his career with the Clintons for some time and there have been mounting questions about his advice.

The bottom line may be that if a candidate is losing, the architect who helped design the candidate’s campaign becomes expendable … even if it’s the candidate that is flawed.

NOTE: I changed the title because, even though the media initially reported that Penn had quit, the articles indicate he is still working on the campaign.


12 Responses to “Clinton Strategist Mark Penn Quits Demoted”

  1. Heading for Costco…need lots more popcorn.

    Old Coot (e2e435)

  2. Just one of many contradictions of the Democrats is that they like to claim that they will somehow “improve” America’s foreign policy and reputation abroad but all of their actual proposals are to undermine our allies by isolationist policies.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. i wonder if the pr firm he works for will get to keep the contract they lost w/ columbia because of him. you just cant play both sides against the middle for too long. clinton’s and there supporters are starting to see that. hell, the whole dem party is experiencing it to some extent.

    chas (536ceb)

  4. The article said Colombia had pulled its account from the lobbying firm Penn works for.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  5. I vaguely remember reading speculation a while back about Penn’s fate with the Hillary campaign, for a different reason entirely.

    Something about a power struggle between Bill’s old guard and the people Hillary had brought in, with the implication that Bill’s old guard were trying to purge the campaign. I wonder if that was part of this.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  6. I agree. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this happened after Maggie Williams came on board. There can’t be two captains of the ship.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  7. It would be fantastic to see a documentary of this campaign. Worth the price of admission (and more popcorn).

    Vermont Neighbor (e7ed47)

  8. ABC reports that Penn was forced out because he had told the Clintons he had recused himself from representing controversial clients.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  9. And as Steven Den Beste noted, this Politico article suggests Penn’s departure will be greeted with relief by many Clinton aides and advisors.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  10. So does this mean Hillary will be ready on day one, or will not be ready on day one.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  11. Penn charges Hillary millions for advice and is owed milllions for the advice.

    davod (5bdbd3)

  12. Blowjob Bill apparently supports the Columbia free trade pact and has since 2000 according to the Huffington Post and confirmed by Bill’s people.

    daleyrocks (906622)

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