I remarked a while ago:

Clinton is now looking for a scapegoat, and Penn seems a likely enough target. Penn’s job, after all, was putting lipstick on a pig…. Hillary Clinton is a product that is about as popular as raw sewage. Granted that Penn didn’t help that image, but what could?

Of course, that was when Penn got canned because Mrs Clinton wasn’t getting the wins she needed to achieve her goal of world domination.

As of this morning, Penn offers a different take on why that effort failed… and, big shock… Penn says it’s not his fault. No shock that this should show up in the New York Times, is it?

The conventional criticisms of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign are these: she had no message; she ran just on experience; she should have shown more of her warmer side; she was too negative; President Clinton’s campaigning hurt her; and she presented herself as inevitable. It is amazing she got any votes at all.

Notice, please, that Penn ignores the biggest problem of all; Mrs Clinton herself.

She did show her warmer side, and campaigned often with her mom and with her daughter. But it was her strength as a warrior that voters saw — as they had in New York — as she won primary after primary against the odds.

President Clinton tirelessly served as her adviser, fund-raiser and relentless campaigner. He drew enormous crowds and gained significant votes for his wife. In Pennsylvania, for example, she won by almost double the typical margin in the rural and suburban counties he visited.

The Clintons have spent their lives fighting as much as any leaders in their generation for greater equality across racial and gender lines. I believe nothing they said was ever intended to divide the country by race. Any suggestion to the contrary was perhaps the greatest injustice done to them in this campaign.

While everyone loves to talk about the message, campaigns are equally about money and organization. Having raised more than $100 million in 2007, the Clinton campaign found itself without adequate money at the beginning of 2008, and without organizations in a lot of states as a result.

Why would Penn write such now? Two simple reasons…

  1. Self-Justification
  2. He’s not too keen on a visit to Ft. Marcy Park.

Notice; he mentions a lack of cash, but fails utterly to mention why that was a problem… why the justifiably vaunted Clinton money machine couldn’t get it done… Mrs Clinton had far too much history to overcome. Democrats didn’t want to spend another four and possibly eight years defending her again, apparently sensing that at the end of that time even stalwart Democrats would no longer want anything at all to do with the party.  At the bottom line, and Penn’s attempts at smoothing feathers not withstanding, Mrs Clinton lost because of one reason and one reason alone: Mrs Clinton.  She has far too much animosity built up against her from the Clintons first rise to power, to be taken seriously as a candidate for having such power again. Indeed, let’s be honest enough to say that in sane times, with candidates who were actually worthy in the running, her attempt at the office would have been met by the derisive laughter it deserved. That she did as well as she did only shows how weak those running against her are.  Obama, being the obvious example, here. As I said a couple months ago, after Obama lost Pennsylvania:

How bad does someone have to be, to lose to a known liar with negatives as near as 50% as no matter, while spending twice as much as she does?  Such a candidate is Obama.

Eventually, of course Obama would win the Democrat primary… I say again… eventually, (What other primary has run so close for so long?) …but by margins close enough to raise serious doubts about his attractiveness to all but his most devoted of followers… who, frankly don’t appear to be to be all that bright, and look to be more about hero worship and Beatles- to- America-like euphoria, than about actual accomplishments.

It’s really that simple. No matter what message gets tied to it, and no matter how much money gets tied to it, what we still have in Mrs Clinton is someone who the people want nowhere near the White House. Truth to tell, most people… even most people from New York… don’t want her in the Senate, but we’re stuck with her.

So, we have Obama as the Democrat nominee.  (Sigh) … Not that John McCain is much stronger a candidate, mind. The only advantage McCain has is that unlike Obama, McCain isn’t a full-on Marxist, and thereby is less damaging to us than Obama.

That’s what we’re down to, folks… who will cause the least damage. It’s all enough to cause serious doubts about the future of the country. What a change from the days of Reagan, where we had nothing but the optimism, and we actually had the ability to make things better rather than merely the hope of survival until the next election.

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One Response to “Mark Penn Takes a Stab At Self-Justification”


  1. Mark Penn takes a stab at Self-Justification