HILLARY CLINTON  11:48 am June 11, 2008

Clinton Campaign Post Mortem: Everybody Hates Mark Penn, Still

by Sara K. Smith

Penn in his native habitatHillary Clinton may have conceded the Democratic presidential nomination last weekend, but that doesn’t mean her old ex-friend Dick Morris doesn’t have some more strategic advice for her! You have heard of this “Mark Penn” character, yes? The pile of human glop that would slither out in front of the teevee cameras and gurgle about Hillary’s balls or whatever, until he got fired for being a Colombian sewer-hound? It seems that Mark Penn is to blame for Hillary’s failure, which everybody knows, and now Dick Morris knows it, too.

There was only one major reason that Hillary lost: Her message of experience and inevitability, devised by Penn, was fatally flawed. To make things worse, on Penn’s advice, she stayed with the foolish strategy long after she and everyone around her should have realized its inherent weakness.

Who is higher on the Clintons’ shit list now: Mark Penn, for making Hillary lose, or Dick Morris, for actually making sense?

Who’s to Blame? It Was Mark Penn [Real Clear Politics]

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HollowBrain June 11, 2008 at 11:51 am

Jesus Wonk, you could have at least put an NSFW tag or something. Now I have to explain why I have a picture of Mark Penn’s penis on my monitor to my boss.

upperleft June 11, 2008 at 11:53 am

These two are the reason Democrats have been losing for so long. They need to join forces and start their own party for toe suckers. Will some one tell me why people think these guys are worth listening to? I wouldn’t talk to them if they were sitting next to me at the bar.

WhatTheHeck June 11, 2008 at 11:54 am

You used a graphic of a slithery reptile, because you couldn’t find one of a self-absorbed goat?

Nikolai Vsevolodovich Stavrogin June 11, 2008 at 11:55 am

She really should have ditched Penn and gone with Teller instead.

AngryBlakGuy June 11, 2008 at 11:56 am

…all in favor of DEPORTING Mark Penn back to the Hell dimension say AYE!!!

Vanity Smurf June 11, 2008 at 11:56 am

So if Karl is Turd Blossom what would Mark Penn’s nickname be?

freakishlystrong June 11, 2008 at 11:56 am

Hillz, it was the pantsuits, ok?

Darehead June 11, 2008 at 11:57 am

So Mark had too little experience to tell Hillary to focus her campaign on experience, and then after his experience he got a job with McCain, who is experienced. And the new slogan is “Ready on Day One Hundred Years Ago.”

ManchuCandidate June 11, 2008 at 11:57 am

Mark Penn replies: Bwoba Glanu Penn Hutt Bhawanna Boska Tukma Jibba Clinton Boska Dooka! Gwabba, Hils?

Translation from Huttesse:
“You can shit on Microtrends and me all you want cause I’ll sleeping on a bed of money when the Clintons pay off my invoice. Right, Hils?”

HollowBrain June 11, 2008 at 11:58 am

[re=13154]Nikolai Vsevolodovich Stavrogin[/re]:

Except they’re Libertarians, so they’re most likely Paultards.

AngryBlakGuy June 11, 2008 at 11:59 am

[re=13157]Vanity Smurf[/re]: …bottom feeder?

Brutus Harlot June 11, 2008 at 12:01 pm

The mistake was not being prepared for Obama as a real contender. As much as I hated how nasty her campaign went as the primary season continued, that nastiness got her votes. If she took Obama seriously from the start, she may very well have won. Luckily, she believed the pundits and thought she was a shoe-in until it was too late.

Clovis June 11, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Okay, this is from the Mark Penn playbook, still in the hopper. When Hillary runs against David Paterson for governor of NY, she will begin every debate by standing up and beginning the National Anthem.

“Oh, say, can you see?”

Then she will sit down. The Paterson campaign will complain about the lowdown tactic of using Mr Pateron’s blindness against him, and she will just shrug and say, well, it’s obvious Mr Paterson hates America.

tsunami June 11, 2008 at 12:01 pm

[re=13154]Nikolai Vsevolodovich Stavrogin[/re]:
She really should have ditched Penn and gone
with Teller instead.

sooo stupid and sooo funny. thanks.

Nikolai Vsevolodovich Stavrogin June 11, 2008 at 12:05 pm


Perhaps in the spirit of Teller all Paultards should be encouraged to communicate through a combination of mime and locking oneself in a crate that is subsequently submerged in a shark tank.

queeraselvis v 2.0 June 11, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Sorry, Dick (I just love saying that), but Penn’s idiotic strategy was hardly the “one major reason” why Hillary’s nomination run turned into epic fail. Let’s not forget her shrill, harpy-esque, “I’m one of the real peoples” approach to campaigning, not to mention the jaw-droppingly unbelievable charges of sexism and the inevitable boo-hooing that she wasn’t being cowtowed to enough by the MSM, the Democratic Party poobahs, and the goddamned voters themselves.

In sum, Dick, fuck you and Mark Penn both. Or better yet, find some bitter Bubba from West Virginia and ask him to do it for you.

Vanity Smurf June 11, 2008 at 12:07 pm

[re=13163]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: good direction but I’d like to see more vulgarity. B+

FunkyPalmettoBug June 11, 2008 at 12:11 pm

NOBODY likes Milhouse!

Airborne Toxic Event June 11, 2008 at 12:15 pm

[re=13157]Vanity Smurf[/re]: Loser

sweetladyirony June 11, 2008 at 12:17 pm

[re=13171]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: What they said.

gurukalehuru June 11, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Let Morris blame Penn and let Penn blame Carville and Carville blame Solis-Doyle and Solis-Doyle blame Bill and Bill blame McAuliffe and McAuliffe blame Morris and who stole the cookie from the fucking cookie jar from now until November at which point they will sink, screaming and gurgling, into the swampy pit of eternal obscurity.
Personally, I blame Chelsea. She shouldn’t have dissed that little girl reporter in Iowa.

Uncle Al June 11, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Does anybody agree with me that it was Hillz’s voice that cost her? That loud, overbearing, monotonish, hectoring, know-it-all annoying voice?

Doglessliberal June 11, 2008 at 12:22 pm

[re=13157]Vanity Smurf[/re]: well, that name came from Rove’s ability to make flowers out of shit. Penn has the ability to kill flowers despite rich, fertile soil, adequate nutrients, and plenty of sun and water, so Giant Whitefly?

“Despite its name, the Giant Whitefly is only about 1/16th of an inch long. This tiny, white-winged insect lays eggs on the underside of the leaf. Both adult and larvae suck sap from the leaf. Adults excrete a sticky fluid known as “Honeydew” which drops down to the lower leaves and can develop a sooty mold fungus giving the leaves a black appearance.”

Doglessliberal June 11, 2008 at 12:23 pm

or, besides Penn: hubris, Bill Clinton, refusal to listen to advice, hubris, playing race card, hubris….

pondscum June 11, 2008 at 12:24 pm

[re=13183]Doglessliberal[/re]: nature can be fucking gross.

NoWireHangers June 11, 2008 at 12:30 pm

And she still owes Penn about $4 million dollars. It’s like paying for a pantsuit that doesn’t fit.

vicuna June 11, 2008 at 12:33 pm

[re=13181]Uncle Al[/re]: the voice didn’t help. An article I read recently suggested that female candidates have to present a “maternal” image. I don’t know about you, but my mom’s a nag. Love her but I don’t want to hear her preach constantly.

I’m a chick, so this isn’t sexist commentary. Pfffthppth!

tunamelt June 11, 2008 at 12:36 pm

[re=13195]NoWireHangers[/re]: That’s the part of the story that makes me lean back and laugh a little bit. Maybe he’s just an evil genius and this was some elaborate revenge/profit scheme.

V572625694 June 11, 2008 at 12:38 pm

[re=13181]Uncle Al[/re]: Agreed that everyone was kind of repelled by the notion of listening to Hillary’s voice for four or eight years. Lieberman had the same problem–different voice, of course, but that whining, arrogant, daddy-knows-best tone was/is excruciating.

RuperttheBear June 11, 2008 at 12:41 pm

[re=13171]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: You are mad as hell and you are not taking it anymore.

graceless June 11, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Clinton Shit-List:

3. Mark Penn

2. Dick Morris

1. Rep. Clyburn

Doglessliberal June 11, 2008 at 12:50 pm

[re=13208]V572625694[/re]: Bush’s voice makes me nauseated and want to throw the radio across the room. McCain’s is bad, but his verbal tic (“my friend”) is the worst, and gives me hives. Cannot stand it.

As to the sexism in the Hillary voice thing, no, it’s not. It is just that her voice is grating on some people. Sexism exists, of course–one commenter after a WaPo blog notes Sebelius cannot have the VP nom because she is too “cold and harsh looking with her white hair” whereas it is dignified on McCain. But the fact that sexism really exists makes the “Hillary lost because of sexism” charges more annoying because they are like the boy who cried wolf, and diminish the real instances. For me, it is more her tone than her voice. Her tone always sounds smug to me.

Doglessliberal June 11, 2008 at 12:51 pm

[re=13186]pondscum[/re]: Yes. See, e.g., physique of Mark Penn.

queeraselvis v 2.0 June 11, 2008 at 12:54 pm

[re=13214]RuperttheBear[/re]: I should’ve added a *slams fist of table* just for good measure, you think?

tunamelt June 11, 2008 at 12:56 pm

[re=13225]graceless[/re]: That’s just the preface, correct?

queeraselvis v 2.0 June 11, 2008 at 12:56 pm

[re=13233]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: Urgh. *on* table. Jesus, waiter, another quad venti latte over here, s’il-vous plait.

AngryBlakGuy June 11, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Reason why Hillz lost:

-Hiring a shit for brains(aka. Mark Penn)
-Thinking she was inevitable
-Not having a plan after super Tuesday
-Spending money like it is going out of style
-Playing the sexism card
-Playing the race card
-Lying(and getting caught)
-Using Republican talking points
-Whining and Complaining
-Not condemning her vote on Iraq(too late)
-Using the “Kitchen Sink” strategy

AfghanVet June 11, 2008 at 1:00 pm

I don’t understand why anyone listens to these hacks in the first place. I swear our Founding Fathers would be spinning in their graves if they knew that one could go to “Thomas Jefferson’s university” and MAJOR in Political Science…whatever the hell that is. Oh yeah, it’s about how to win elections instead of govern. Nevermind.

graceless June 11, 2008 at 1:01 pm

[re=13237]tunamelt[/re]: Correct. I intend to include Howard Dean, Chris Matthews, Ted Kennedy, and of course, Dee Dee Meyers’ husband.

gurukalehuru June 11, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Not that I would know about things like this, but I always suspected that “Turd Blossom” might refer to the appearance of his butt after anal sex.

HollowBrain June 11, 2008 at 1:02 pm

[re=13170]Nikolai Vsevolodovich Stavrogin[/re]:

Except not an illusion.

RuperttheBear June 11, 2008 at 1:07 pm

[re=13238]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: “slams fist of table” is oddly evocative.

Example: [to teenager] Clean up your room or I’ll slams fist of table your ass!

That room will be clean.

Botswana Meat Commission FC June 11, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Mark Penn is just a moron who left his cushy marketing firm to try to run a campaign. Yes, it was an epic fail, but he’s actually been extremely successful throughout most of his career.

Dick Morris, on the other hand, is just a terrible terrible human being in every way.

TGY June 11, 2008 at 1:14 pm

[re=13243]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: It was the cackle. Hills shouldn’t feel bad, though. Howard Dean lost because of just one whoop. One whoop and you’re whupped.

Lascauxcaveman June 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm

[re=13201]vicuna[/re]: Hillary’s voice in face to face conversation mode: not bad. Warm, reasoned, maybe a little nasally, maybe a little self-satisfied, but actually quite sonorous.

Hillary’s voice in full exhortation mode: RUN! RUN AWAY!

DangerousLiberal June 11, 2008 at 1:23 pm

[re=13244]AfghanVet[/re]: I am a real political scientist, with a Pee Haitch Dee and all. And your definition of political science is as different from what real political scientists do as is the difference between astronomy and astrology, even at TJU. But your point is well taken–winning elections and governing are different things, as Pres Kleptocrat and Veep Dr. Evil have so ably demonstrated.

Of course, what we teach undergrads doesn’t really matter, because half the time they aren’t paying attention, and the other half the time they tell us we’re wrong about a basic fact because they heard something else on the teevee—or because Mark Penn said so. Just like he said that they just had to win in California to lap up all of those sweet, sweet delegates. Harold Ickes, per the NY Times, just about had a thrombo. Hillary couldn’t play by the rules because she didn’t now what the rules were.‘k, bye.

rhubarbpie1 June 11, 2008 at 1:29 pm

[re=13166]tsunami[/re]: Hilarious. Teller never has much to say anyway.

TGY June 11, 2008 at 1:36 pm

[re=13269]DangerousLiberal[/re]: Maybe Hills just didn’t think the rules applied to her. That is, not to a Magical Clinton. Teflon Clinton? Whatevs.

Aurelio June 11, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Morris sez Mark Penn didn’t know the Democratic delegates were apportioned proportionately, so he thought Hillary would get 390 delegates when she won California.

Penn got (at least) $2.5 million for such “expert” advice?

I would have cheerfully given her equally bad advice for $1 million.

AfghanVet June 11, 2008 at 1:44 pm

[re=13269]DangerousLiberal[/re]: I’ll buy that…perversion of real work is the forte’ of the GOP, but then what is it that real political scientist do? Is it a science?

Vanity Smurf June 11, 2008 at 1:45 pm

[re=13243]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: – war vote. It all goes back to that because it opened the door for Barry.

HopeNutz June 11, 2008 at 1:56 pm

[re=13181]Uncle Al[/re]: Exactly. Hillary is the reason why Hillary lost. She should put herself on her own shit list.

donner_froh June 11, 2008 at 1:57 pm


sooty mold fungus

Perfecto. Sums him up in one epithet–not the predator but the result of his excretions.

Doglessliberal June 11, 2008 at 1:58 pm

[re=13327]Vanity Smurf[/re]: noooooo! Then she cannot blame anyone else for the loss!
It is not the fault of the evil women haters and elites or Mark Penn.
It is all on her own self.

Harvey Birdman June 11, 2008 at 2:16 pm

[re=13327]Vanity Smurf[/re]: yeah, it’s the war vote stupid. Even if it was a futile effort, Hillz was one of the only people who had enough of a profile to really make a difference and she punted to the warmongers. Which makes you wonder if she’ll “fight for you” on anything other than welfare reform and DOMA. The press underestimates the resentment of the anti-war left because they were totally complicit.

Harvey Birdman June 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm

[re=13379]Harvey Birdman[/re]: ugh, my sincerity is appalling.

NedPepper June 11, 2008 at 2:59 pm

I think I heard Dick Morris tell this to Hillary once. “I intended to give you some political advice, but now I remember how much was left unused when Bill fired me. So I took my advice and left.

Doglessliberal June 11, 2008 at 3:23 pm

[re=13432]Harvey Birdman[/re]: it happens to the best of us. Take deep, cleansing breaths.

V572625694 June 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm

[re=13227]Doglessliberal[/re]: Agreed that disliking Hillary’s voice is not sexist, any more than disliking Lieberman’s voice is anti-semitic. And voice is really trivial–Lincoln supposedly had a little squeaky voice. Content still matters, and that’s the promise of Obama. That he has a nice voice is just a bonus.

ladymacbeth June 11, 2008 at 8:49 pm

what what what IS that thing? that green thing?

atpeaceinoregon June 11, 2008 at 9:00 pm

This is one funny Hillary video, by the way:


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