[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.