Monday, April 07, 2008

Speak Up, I Can't Hear The Words "Mark Penn"

The caption for this photo was:
(Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton cups her ear as reporters ask her about Mark Penn, the pollster and senior strategist for Clinton's presidential bid who left the campaign Sunday, at the airport in Albuquerque, N.M., Sunday, April 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
By cupping her ear, what a prankster, she was apparently a joke of dodging reporters questions. Or maybe it was a way of expressing cognitive dissonance. The Clinton campaign has paid nearly 10% of all the money it has raised to Mark Penn, at least $13 million of $141 million. Penn is the author of the best-selling 'Microtrends,' a book about...umm, how small details explain everything? How little acorns become great oaks? How Fourier transforms applied to long-tailed stochastically-smoothed trendlines uncover power laws which foretell the future? I dunno what the thing's about, but will learn fast. Anyone who can shake the Clintons down for that much dough and not wind up dead deserves some quality time.

The rumpus is that Penn got into hot water for peddling influence to a foreign client, the government of Colombia, which is all aflame to get congressional approval on its bilateral free trade agreement. Bush sent the bill to the legislature today, along with a few now-customary insults. Why the hot water? Well, because H.C. is now expressly against anything containing the words "free trade agreement" (and don't you forget it, bub). As to why either Penn or Columbia should even want such a thing, I surely don't know. You'd think being Most Favored Cocaine Supplier would be enough for Colombia, and in Penn's case $13 million for doing some mumbo-jumbo special polls (and the sage advice to not bother running in caucus states) was pretty swell, too. So the New York Times and other sources reported that Penn was forced out.

But, not so fast, the Clintons aren't bothering to actually fire Penn. He was on the Monday campaign conference call as usual, and his firm will continue to be their pollster. So he's not resigned, not fired, not leaving, his firm's still getting paid, and he's just sort of helicoptering around like some Bellisarius of Bullshit. Man, this guy's good. I wonder what Obama is paying him? Unfortunately this means I'll have to read his other book: 'Winning Through Conflicts of Interest.'

(Much of this info came from Born at the Crest of Empire, a sharp blogger.

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