Friday, September 16, 2016

Mark Penn, “senior strategist”

Oh New York Times , you can be so decorous:

During the 2008 Democratic contest, Mrs. Clinton’s senior strategist at one point pondered, in an internal memo that was later leaked, the ways in which Mr. Obama’s personal background differed from many Americans’. But contrary to Mr. Trump’s assertion, neither Mrs. Clinton nor her campaign ever publicly questioned Mr. Obama’s citizenship or birthplace, in Hawaii.
Credit where it’s due: the unnamed “senior strategist” was Mark Penn. And Penn didn’t merely ponder ways in which Barack Obama’s background “differed.” (Doesn’t everyone’s?) In a memo to Hillary Clinton (March 19, 2007), Penn wrote about what he called “a very strong weakness” for Obama, his “lack of American roots”:
his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited. I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values.
True, nothing in those sentences questions Barack Obama’s birthplace. But the charge is clear: according to Penn, Obama is “not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values.”

I loathe Mark Penn. I loathe too the Times ’s unwillingless to acknowledge facts that are awkward and embarrassing for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

[How did I get to that memo so quickly? I made a post about it in 2008. And if there’s any doubt: I loathe Donald Trump.]

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