Why Do They Let Him Out of His Cage?

Mark Penn, once again displaying his deft touch:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson finally made up his mind and endorsed Sen. Barack Obama today, but a senior adviser to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign — which likewise spent months courting the former Democratic presidential candidate’s nod — dismissed its significance.

“Look, I think that everyone has their endorsers,” said senior Clinton strategist Mark Penn, adding — with a little huff — “I think New Mexico is a state that, actually, we won.”

“The time that he could have been effective has long since passed,” he continued. “I don’t think it is a significant endorsement in this environment.”

Perhaps sensing that it may not be effective to dismiss out of hand a popular Hispanic governor’s political clout, campaign spokesman Phil Singer chimed in. “We respect Gov. Richardson,” he clarified. “But at the end of the day this campaign is about Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama.”

Seriously. He should be locked in a back room with a computer, a one-way radio, and raw polling data. He should not be near the press, he should not be allowed to speak for the campaign, and he should not be allowed near anything that resembles a microphone. It is almost as if some evil genius took 250 lbs of fat, some oil and acne, and two tin ears and came up with Mark Penn.

If the superdelegates want to think about electability, they should think about the great successes he can bring to the Democratic party in the general election.






59 replies
  1. 1
    Studly Pantload says:

    Yay! Fresh trainwreck!

  2. 2
    Adam says:

    The one-way radio is used for transmitting the polling data to him, right? If so, then I support this plan.

  3. 3
    Perry Como says:

    He should be locked in a back room with a computer forced to stare at Lemonparty

    Fixed that.

  4. 4
    Andrei says:

    Wait for it… wait for it… wait…….

  5. 5
    Pooh says:

    Penn is of course right. Governors of states who have already held primaries don’t count. Especially if they are hispanic since Hillary already Won That Vote

    /myxPLuk

  6. 6
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    I for one am proud that the Democratic party has come up with their equivalent of Karl Rove.

  7. 7
    NR says:

    Just seen at DKos:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.....ce-speech/

    I feel a little better now, though I still want to see the next round of SUSA GE polls vs. McCain.

  8. 8
    LiberalTarian says:

    Yeah, Penn’ll go down in history as the reason more dems weren’t in office. :(

  9. 9
    Incertus says:

    Has Mark Penn ever been right about anything?

  10. 10
    shera says:

    Can’t Howard Wolfson or Harold Ickes just use a cattle prod on Penn each time he speaks? The smell of burning flesh doesn’t come across the phone on these conference calls.

  11. 11
    Perry Como says:

    I for one am proud that the Democratic party has come up with their equivalent of Karl Rove.

    Come on now. Karl Rove was known for cunning stunts. Mark Penn is something entirely different.

  12. 12
    Ninerdave says:

    Here’s Richardson on the Situation Room.

    RICHARDSON: Well, let’s say it was a difficult conversation. But, you know, I resent the fact that the Clinton people are now saying that my endorsement is too late because I only can help with Texans — with Texas and Hispanics, implying that that’s my only value.

    You know, that’s typical of some of his advisers that kind of turned me off. And I see a positive thrust by Senator Obama and his people and want to bring the country together.

  13. 13
    John S. says:

    Has Mark Penn ever been right about anything?

    I’m sure he has… I just can’t think of what.

    Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

  14. 14
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Come on now. Karl Rove was known for cunning stunts.

    Aw, hell, you owe me a bottle of Sierra Pale Ale.

  15. 15
    Svensker says:

    Come on now. Karl Rove was known for cunning stunts. Mark Penn is something entirely different

    Rev. Spooner would be proud.

  16. 16
    Mike says:

    It is almost as if some evil genius took 250 lbs of fat, some oil and acne, and two tin ears and came up with Mark Penn.

    Have you ever thought of running a political campaign, John? You’re a natural.

  17. 17
    Rex says:

    I have been on some potent anti-allergy drugs and, when I first read this, I thought lead line was:

    “Mark Penn, once again displaying his left douche

  18. 18
    myiq2xu says:

    Aw, hell, you owe me a bottle of Sierra Pale Ale.

    Are you sure we aren’t related?

    Best beer EVAH!

  19. 19
    mere mortal says:

    John, how do Penn’s comments qualify him for being locked away, but your similar post about the news get excused as snark?

    This is sure to help with the all important Hispanic vote in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Oregon. No doubt his endorsement will also ring in many Philadelphian’s ears a month from now when they vote (and as soon as most of them figure out who the hell Bill Richardson is and why they should care who the governor of New Mexico thinks they should vote for).

    Confusing stuff, until one learns that Penn works for Clinton.

    And it’s good to know that there’s at least one more superdelegate that Obama supporters are fine having vote against the primary voters of his state. What is Richardson (and Obama too, if he accepts Richardson’s superdelegate vote) doing, tearing the Democratic Party apart this way?

  20. 20
    Cassidy says:

    Best beer EVAH!

    Bulllshit…Blue Moon and Fat Tire Amber (and that belgian Black beer they make also).

  21. 21
    John Cole says:

    Confusing stuff, until one learns that Penn works for Clinton.

    Or, here on the planet Earth, we note that another blogger, Tom in Texas, wrote that. We also note that here on planet Earth, Gov. Richardson is far less likely to hear and be offended by snarky comments written about him on an obscure blog, but is much more likely to pick up on comments made in the WSJ by a Clinton staffer.

    Not to get in the way of your reality, or anything. Now go send some more money to Hillary, because we all know she can pull it out in the end, despite losing every aspect of this race.

  22. 22
    plus C says:

    I’m starting to suspect that Mark Penn and Tony Blankley might be the same person. Has anyone ever seen them together?

  23. 23
    Studly Pantload says:

    Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

    There’s a stopped clock on line two wishing to express its umbrage over the unsavory defamation of its character wrought by this comparison.

  24. 24
    tBone says:

    Just seen at DKos:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.....ce-speech/

    I feel a little better now, though I still want to see the next round of SUSA GE polls vs. McCain.

    Don’t feel better yet. I’m sure Caps Lock Lukasiak will be along presently to explain why that poll doesn’t count.

  25. 25
    Studly Pantload says:

    Now go send some more money to Hillary, because we all know she can pull it out in the end,

    Having seen how she’s campaigned, I couldn’t agree with this statement more.

  26. 26
    myiq2xu says:

    Not to get in the way of your reality, or anything. Now go send some more money to Hillary, because we all know she can pull it out in the end, despite losing every aspect of this race.

    Okay, I’m too drunk to respond now, will somebody remind me “Bridge on the River Kwai” and Sir Alec Guinness tomorrow?

  27. 27

    Aw, hell, you owe me a bottle of Sierra Pale Ale.

    Are you sure we aren’t related?

    Best beer EVAH!

    C’mon guys! Sierra Pale Ale? Its OK if you run out of beer. Now THIS is pretty good beer. But this is my favorite.

  28. 28

    and that belgian Black beer they make also

    It’s called 1554 and it is OK. But Ommegang is some of the best Belgian style beer in the USA. (Jesus, they better start sending me some freebies as much as I support them online.)

    Dennis & Myiq: Ever drink any of Stone Brewery’s stuff? They had an 11th Anniversary Ale that was fucking outstanding.

    (Isn’t it time for a beer blogging thread?)

  29. 29
    srv says:

    Okay, I’m too drunk to respond now, will somebody remind me “Bridge on the River Kwai” and Sir Alec Guinness tomorrow?

    I hate the Hillarybots! You are defeated but you have no shame. You are stubborn but you have no pride. You endure but you have no courage. I hate the Hillarybots!

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    Where’s Tim F.?

    I was looking forward to some comment/snark from him on the PZ Meyers Expelled fiasco and it’s aftermath.

    .

  31. 31

    I was looking forward to some comment/snark from him on the PZ Meyers Expelled fiasco and it’s aftermath.

    That has got to be the funniest thing I’ve read in quite some time. Thanks for the link.

  32. 32
    Cassidy says:

    It’s called 1554 and it is OK. But Ommegang is some of the best Belgian style beer in the USA. (Jesus, they better start sending me some freebies as much as I support them online.)

    Beer is my hobby. I’ll drink anything once.

  33. 33
    Perry Como says:

    Golden Monkey. Now that’s a beer.

  34. 34
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Rogue Dead Guy Ale.

  35. 35
    ntr Fausto Carmona says:

    Ah, to be privileged enough to live in the same city as the Great Lakes Brewing Co…

  36. 36
    jake says:

    I know it isn’t fair but after seven years, I can’t hear whining of this caliber without thinking “Republican.”

    Camp HRC isn’t Republican. I know that. But this pouty sulky “We don’t like him anyway,” snippy bitch cat fight bullshit sure as hell sounds Republican.

  37. 37
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    If Obama wins the nomination and the general election then on 1-20-2009 Pastor Wright will be sitting somewhere in Chicago in semi-retirement watching the TV. If Hillary wins the nomination and the general election then on 1-20-2009 Mark Penn will be redecorating Karl Rove’s office in the WH and wondering what happens if you push those shiny buttons on the desk labelled DOJ and DHS.

    Just sayin.

  38. 38
    p.lukasiak says:

    Seriously. He should be locked in a back room with a computer, a one-way radio, and raw polling data. He should not be near the press, he should not be allowed to speak for the campaign, and he should not be allowed near anything that resembles a microphone. It is almost as if some evil genius took 250 lbs of fat, some oil and acne, and two tin ears and came up with Mark Penn.

    I could not agree more. The guy needs to be muzzled. The fact that he is allowed anywhere near the press shows that the Clinton campaign still doesn’t truly have its shit together.

    That said, I don’t think he’s been bad in terms of being a campaign strategist — Hillary wanted the kind of campaign that wom the nomination in the traditional way, and would set her up for victory in November. That’s what she got, and on its own terms it worked quite well.

    The problem is that Axelrod has run a ‘revolutionary guerilla’ campaign — and done so brilliantly. He did the equivalent of taking over a whole bunch of poorly defended non-strategically important provinces, and has amassed considerable strength. Of course, every time his armies attack a well-defended stronghold, he gets beaten back, but gains new adherents in those provinces as well. And now it looks like he’s marshalling his resources for an assault on the capital, and it looks like there is a good chance he will take it.

    …at which point, the military (i.e. the GOP) will stage a coup, and squash Obama like a bug.

  39. 39
    Splitting Image says:

    I’m sure that the only thing Mark Penn did was to convince Richardson that he made the right choice. He is by far the biggest argument against electing Hillary Clinton. Sheesh, talk about being judged by the company you keep.

    I think the big story this week was Mike Huckabee’s response to Obama’s speech, and I’m wondering if it wasn’t what swung Richardson over. I think he might have been waiting for some evidence that Obama could reach across the table successfully and as soon as he got it, he jumped.

    If anyone happens to have missed it, here’s what Huckabee said:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTFLOu8fjxU

    He defended Rev. Wright much more strongly than Obama did and more or less destroyed any hope that Karl Rove might have had of using Wright against Obama in the election.

    I think he blew his chances to be McCain’s VP, too, which makes this even more striking.

  40. 40
    PaulB says:

    This is actually one of the major strikes against Hillary: that she values loyalty over competence.

  41. 41
    shortstop says:

    The fact that he is allowed anywhere near the press shows that the Clinton campaign still doesn’t truly have its shit together.

    “Still,” yeah. But I had it from an insider that they’re planning to roll out basic competence in late July.

  42. 42
    shortstop says:

    The problem is that Axelrod has run a ‘revolutionary guerilla’ campaign

    Is that what the dinosaurs are calling it? Because everyone not mired in mid-1990s DLC thinking is calling it how 50-state campaigns are run, Clinton’s archaic top-down, coal smoke-belching anachronism of an effort notwithstanding.

  43. 43
    jake says:

    Slightly OT: I hope I’m near a T.V. when someone asks Mr. Fat Sack Tin Ear about Casey Knowles.

  44. 44
    p.lukasiak says:

    Is that what the dinosaurs are calling it? Because everyone not mired in mid-1990s DLC thinking is calling it how 50-state campaigns are run, Clinton’s archaic top-down, coal smoke-belching anachronism of an effort notwithstanding.

    everyone who understands what the “50 state” strategy is all about knows that it has nothing to do with winning the democratic nomination by putting together your own grassroots efforts.

    Its actually about “top down” party building — but in this case the top is the state party organizations, not the DNC.

    So every time I hear someone talk about Obama’s “50 state strategy” as if it has anything to do with Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy, I immediately know they are completely full of shit.

  45. 45
    p.lukasiak says:

    This is actually one of the major strikes against Hillary: that she values loyalty over competence.

    Mark Penn is competent — as a campaign strategist. As a campaign spokesperson, he’s a disaster.

  46. 46
    Perry Como says:

    This is actually one of the major strikes against Hillary: that she values loyalty over competence.

    That sounds vaguely…familiar.

  47. 47
    tBone says:

    Its actually about “top down” party building—but in this case the top is the state party organizations, not the DNC.

    So every time I hear someone talk about Obama’s “50 state strategy” as if it has anything to do with Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy, I immediately know they are completely full of shit.

    When I see someone compare two extremely similar and synergistic strategies and dismiss them as entirely unrelated while conveniently ignoring that one is aimed at general elections and one is intended for inter-party primaries, I immediately know they are completely full of shit.

    Shorter version:
    Every time I see your name above a post, I immediately know it’s completely full of shit.

  48. 48
    Splitting Image says:

    “everyone who understands what the “50 state” strategy is all about knows that it has nothing to do with winning the democratic nomination by putting together your own grassroots efforts.

    Its actually about “top down” party building—but in this case the top is the state party organizations, not the DNC.

    So every time I hear someone talk about Obama’s “50 state strategy” as if it has anything to do with Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy, I immediately know they are completely full of shit.”

    Absolutely wrong. Dean himself put together his own grassroots effort in 2004. He only started working on a top-down formula when he was put in a position where he could do that. People who compare Obama with Dean are certainly referring to his 2004 Dean For America campaign.

    The knock against Mark Penn is that he works at cross purposes with the state organizations rather than in tandem with them. The themes of Obama’s campaign speeches, like the “new majority”, mesh with those of the Turn Texas Blue and Turn Idaho Blue movements, while the themes of the Clinton campaign – as written by Penn – do not. Fancy telling the country that half the states don’t matter or aren’t significant.

  49. 49
    theturtlemoves says:

    Dead Guy is, in fact, a fine brew but the best evah? I’d have to ponder that. I’m somewhat apprehensive to admit my favorite is Black Dog Honey Raspberry Ale, fruit beers being unmanly and stuff. The Dead guy reference makes me assume a fellow Oregonian and speaking of Oregon…

    Drove by the Obama rally at the UofO campus today at 4:15 and there was already a four block line for the 9:30 speech. My wife and I were hoping to attend with our oldest, but much as I’m firmly in the Pony’s saddle, I ain’t waiting in line five hours for any man. Lots of college students waiting in line and the usual old Eugene hippies. I have high hopes for Obama here, since most of the old hippies are real VW Bus-driving hippies and therefore likely not big DLC fans.

    Oh, and Mark Penn? Complete tool.

  50. 50
    PaulB says:

    Mark Penn is competent—as a campaign strategist.

    Which is why Penn, with everything Hillary had going for her, totally crushed the competition. Oh wait … no he didn’t.

    Hmm … Then it must be because once the competition became serious, Penn immediately shifted his strategy to deal with it, nipping it in the bud before it grew into a national threat. Oh wait, that didn’t happen either.

    Then maybe because it’s because he found such low-cost ways to energize the campaign and bring it back to life? Oh wait, no, he’s cost Hillary millions in consulting fees since the beginning of the year.

    Or maybe it’s because he’s univerally loved amongst Hillary’s campaign workers for his positive spirit and the energy and uplift he brings to the table? Nope, that’s not it.

    Sorry, Paul, but the evidence to date is that Penn is just as much a disaster as a strategist as he is a spokesman.

    As a campaign spokesperson, he’s a disaster.

    No shit.

  51. 51
    PaulB says:

    So every time I hear someone talk about Obama’s ’50 state strategy’ as if it has anything to do with Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy, I immediately know they are completely full of shit.

    Oh, nonsense. You’ve only expressed half of the “50-state strategy.” The other half, the more important half, is that you contest every state, every district, every contest, never settling for a “we can’t win there so we shouldn’t even try” or a “there’s too few votes there to matter” attitude.

    It is that attitude and that strategy that Dean and Obama share. It paid off for Dean in 2006; it’s paying off for Obama in 2008.

  52. 52
    Perry Como says:

    Shorter version:
    Every time I see your name above a post, I immediately know it’s completely full of shit.

    tl;dr

    Grown ups these days.

  53. 53
    dslak says:

    The problem is that Axelrod has run a ‘revolutionary guerilla’ campaign . . .

    Shorter p.luk: Once you’ve found an appropriately unflattering metaphor to describe it, Obama’s campaign seems kinda insignificant.

  54. 54
    rachel says:

    JGabriel Says:

    Where’s Tim F.?

    I was looking forward to some comment/snark from him on the PZ Meyers Expelled fiasco and it’s aftermath.

    Oh. My. God.

    Bwaaaah-ha-haaah!

  55. 55
    cecil paul says:

    Mark Penn’s statement is the typical Racist and Arrogant statements that has been constantly coming out of the Clintons Campaign. Is Bill Richarson’s support only Hispanic support? Are Hispanics the only people(who elected the Gov.)living in New Mexico?.In the same light Bill Clinton intimated that Obama is just another African American candidate who will reach just so far.That is the arrogance that has Hillary trailing behind Obama.

  56. 56
    mere mortal says:

    Confusing stuff, until one learns that Penn works for Clinton.

    Or, here on the planet Earth, we note that another blogger, Tom in Texas, wrote that.

    Here on your blog, you did no such thing. You gave no indication that you had plagiarized another blogger in your original comment on the Richardson endorsement. If you inhabit a new planet, where you are talking about the later post, do you seriously claim that you don’t own:

    Seriously. He should be locked in a back room with a computer, a one-way radio, and raw polling data. He should not be near the press, he should not be allowed to speak for the campaign, and he should not be allowed near anything that resembles a microphone.

    Forward, into further stupidity.

    We also note that here on planet Earth, Gov. Richardson is far less likely to hear and be offended by snarky comments written about him on an obscure blog, but is much more likely to pick up on comments made in the WSJ by a Clinton staffer.

    Not to get in the way of your reality, or anything, or whatever it’s called on the planet you live on, but I doubt the Clinton campaign had as its goal to look after Richardson’s feelings. Carville’s later comments make it pretty clear that Clinton feels stung that someone whose professional success derived so much from the Clinton presidency (many of Richardson’s qualifications he listed while campaining were appointments by Bill Clinton) would endorse her opponent.

    But, then again, that’s Hillary Clinton, so who cares anyway, which brings us full circle.

  57. 57
    PaulB says:

    but I doubt the Clinton campaign had as its goal to look after Richardson’s feelings

    Um … that was kinda John’s point. Penn’s comments were rather stupid, as were Carville’s. So the story has widened to not just losing someone whose endorsement they had been cultivating for months, but to the ineptness of the campaign and its supporters.

  58. 58
    Tenax says:

    Or, here on the planet Earth, we note that another blogger, Tom in Texas, wrote that.

    Here on your blog, you did no such thing. You gave no indication that you had plagiarized another blogger in your original comment on the Richardson endorsement.

    Umm, Mere Mortal, the post isn’t that far back. John did not plagarize anyone. You’ll notice that, under the title Great Timing is the phrase By: Tom in Texas. Like many large blogs, this blog site has several writers that may share similar views or interests.

    /Back to lurking….

  59. 59
    John Cole says:

    Here on your blog, you did no such thing. You gave no indication that you had plagiarized another blogger in your original comment on the Richardson endorsement.

    I didn’t plagiarize anyone, as I didn’t write the damned post. Tom in Texas did.

    Cripes. Are you a Bush voter?

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