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April 7th, 2008
04:53 PM ET

David Gergen: A Clinton campaign without Mark Penn

 

Hillary Clinton

If Mark Penn had been a favorite within the Clinton campaign, it is difficult to believe that he would have been forced out over the Colombian affair.  Sure, it was a dumb mistake – a “what was he thinking” moment.  Still, it was a far cry from what one of Barack Obama’s top advisers did when he met with Canadian officials on NAFTA and his mistake properly set off a mini-firestorm.  So, in the ordinary course of things, Mark Penn’s apology and a few days of reassuring labor unions would have been enough to quiet things down – and Penn would still be calling the shots.

 

But it is apparent that Clinton topsiders detest Mark Penn and hold him uniquely responsible for what has gone wrong in the campaign.  When he went down last week, they lunged for the jugular and he couldn’t survive.

 

What difference will it make in the campaign, if any?  Short term, it is a setback for the Clintonites because it sends super delegates yet another signal of disarray in the ranks and it will be a source of chatter in the media for a while. (From the campaign’s point of view, the Petraeus hearings can’t start soon enough to take attention away from Penn.)  As far as Pennsylvania is concerned, it is doubtful that one voter in 100 will be directly affected by his departure.  “Mark Who?”    

 

But his departure could indirectly impact not just Pennsylvania but the rest of the primaries to come.  Only a few days ago, Carl Bernstein reported on CNN that the Clinton campaign was sitting on some nasty stuff about Obama – stuff they thought the media should have featured a long time ago – and the campaign was preparing to go hard negative with it.  We have heard rumors of this kind before and nothing has materialized, but there was a sense that perhaps in a desperate, 11th-hour bid for the nomination, the Clintons would throw the rest of the kitchen sink at Barack, and maybe the bathroom, too.

 All along, Mark Penn – along with President Clinton – has been portrayed as the chief advocate of going much more negative. But now with Penn gone, one wonders: has the prospect of an explosive negative attack disappeared with him? 

 

 

 

For Democrats in general and Mrs. Clinton in particular, the Penn resignation may be a blessing in disguise.  A no-holds-barred, negative fight to the finish within the party would have hurt both Barack and Hillary.  What is now turning off voters (especially independents) is not the length of the campaign but the nastiness.  The best strategy that Mrs. Clinton can follow now – one that would preserve the chances of a Democratic victory in the fall and preserve her reputation, too – is to pursue a gracious, warm, emotionally appealing campaign that draws people to her instead of trying to drive them away from Obama.  Indeed, if she had pursued that strategy more consistently from the beginning, she would almost certainly be closer to the nomination now. 

 

Mark Penn is a very bright man who has served the Clintons for a dozen years, often brilliantly; he was a guiding force in the re-election of Bill Clinton in 1996.  But for reasons that are unfathomable, he has not seemed to grasp how much good a more positive, uplifting campaign by Hillary would have done.   

 

– David Gergen, 360° Contributor

Comments to the 360° blog are moderated. What does that mean?


Filed under: David Gergen • Mark Penn • Raw Politics
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Ann Kuminns

    It is all about the candidate and who she surrounds herself with! She has proven herself to be a vicious divisive liar and will say and do anything to advance her personal ambitions. I thought that Bill's presidency will leave a palatable legacy after all his personal problems, but now the both of them have left such a rotten taste for everyone that it is unthinkable that they could ever resurrect their "legacy" or her future ambitions ever again. She wants to wound Obama so badly that he would lose in November and then she can try again in 2012. The message should be very clear to her regarding any future ambitions: NEVER AGAIN, Clintons.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  2. Art Hayward

    David,

    Why do you think there has been so little play on the networks over Obama winning the delegate race in Texas Iwould think it was a major change from before..is it still really a victory for Clonton??

    Just an observation as I have seen nothing on this in the news.

    thanks

    April 7, 2008 at 9:17 pm |
  3. dotherightthing08

    If this is how she runs her campaign, how will she run her white house???

    April 7, 2008 at 9:17 pm |
  4. Jean

    The trouble with Hillary is she has sides. Her sensitive weepy side her strong and strident side, etc. etc. with each side taken to something of an extreme. She seems poorly integrated.

    Like Penn the state of Penn will not hold for her. She has shown too many sides, told too many lies, hired too many smarmy advisors, made too many expensive errors...failed to win the hearts and minds enought to open pocketbooks. Like Penn, she is toast.

    Her surrogates hinted early on they had something to use against Obama...with-holding it for effect or feigned decency. When asked point blank to reveal anything they might have, they admitted they had nothing. Or so they said. If they bring up something right before the primary it will be so bloody apparent that they were lying, anything they charge will pale. It will backfire like everything else.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  5. Mark, California

    David,

    I have a ton of respect for the level of discourse and the balanced perspective you bring to any political discussion. For that I thank you.

    I do disagree with you on a couple of points in this article. First, on your point that what Penn did is "a far cry from what one of Obama's top advisors did," I agree Penn's deed is a far cry from what Goolsbee did; but in the other direction – it's much worse. I think that Jamil from Dearborn has it exactly right, so I won't reinvent.

    .......................................There is a BIG difference between this and the NAFTA case involving an Obama staffer. In the NAFTA case, the staffer involved was a low-level UNPAID staffer NOT the chief strategist of the campaign who has billed the campaign nearly $11 million. Plus, what had actually happened in the Canadian meeting is in dispute whereas here Penn admits to not only telling the Columbians “don’t worry” but telling them “don’t worry I’ll even help you get this trade deal passed!” HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!!!.....................................................

    Second, as to whether this stays in the news and whether Pennsylvanians come to know about Penn, that is up to the media and the Obama campaign. As an Obama supporter, I never want to see the campaign get into negative, personal attacks. But I do think it is fair to make a lot of noise about the relevant facts of this incident.

    This is her CHIEF STRATEGIST! She is either lying about her position on the Colombian trade deal, or she has shown very poor judgment on those with whom she has surrounded herself. I supsect it's the latter, (although I have no doubt she has been stretching the truth on her actual beliefs re trade for months now; but Obama has, too. Neither are isolationists.) But the abject failure of her chief strategist to do the right thing wrt the campaign indicates a major failure of leadership. That is the unfortunate fact, and I think that we should all know about that, whether we live in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:15 pm |
  6. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Whenever the Clintons release whatever they think they have on Obama how much credibility does it have coming from the filthy kitchen that they live in. It will be like Bosnia as far as some are concerned. I'm sure they will use any tactic that they can to make him look bad even inventing or buying some made up dirt. These people are sick and we as a society should do with people like this is put them away so they can't hurt anyone else.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm |
  7. Jerry G - Santa Monica

    As a HRC supporter, i have always felt that Marc Penn was a leach on Hillary's energy. She has always done well when appealing to the good nature of the voters through her ability to have a full grasp of the issue's and show the "so called" human side of her personality. I find it disturbing that we are even enthralled by the issue of her showing a more feminine "maternal" side. It clearly illustrates that there is a deep bias not working in her favor or for any woman who wants to live in the world of politics. Do we ask such questions of her male counterparts? Do they need to "get in touch" with their feminine sides? How crazy would it be if we asked Barack Or John "how they feel" and if they could give us an inside look at their touch-feely side?

    April 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm |
  8. Vridar

    Christine,
    Hillary made her own bed; now she has to lie (sic) in it.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  9. Paulinus, Canada

    Shame on you Hillary. You will not be able to attack Obama anymore on NAFTA-GATE, thanks to your Strategist Penn. What goes around comes around, and now it is your turn to answer to the Colombian affair. The working class of Ohio now sees your true colors. They must have gotten a shock when they saw your income.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:06 pm |
  10. Paulinus, Canada

    Shame on you Hillary. You will not be able to attack Obama on NAFTA-GATE, thanks to your Strategist Penn. What goes around comes around, and now it is your turn to answer to the Colombian affair. The working class of Ohio now sees you true colors. They must have gotten a shock when they saw your income.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:05 pm |
  11. lynn

    IAM A CANADIAN and the reports about Obama were totally FALSE!! It has been reported in our press and debated in our parliament.

    Also Penn has NOT resigned!! Hillary probably can't afford to pay him the money she owes him.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:02 pm |
  12. TexasWoman4Change!

    Personally, I think Penn's actions were sanctioned by the Clinton's and it points straight to her lack of judgement and willingness to win at all costs. If this had been Karl Rove, there would have been a outrage! Instead, it will probably be news for today and forgotten tomorrow. Understand that for all of his faults, even Bush didn't allow Karl Rove or Dick Cheeney to continue in their former jobs while working on his campaign or in the White House. Again, this smells of bad memories of the Clinton's– their lack of honesty and transparency in governing is all to familar to most of us.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  13. eddie, Quebec

    Penn is not truly out of the Ciinton campaign... It's 2008. He's just a phone call away.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  14. Donna R.

    I feel that Mark Penn's demotion will be a plus for the campaign. I feel that Hillary's campaign needed some fresh ideas. I only wish that people would accept Senator Clinton for who she is. If she shows her sensitive side, they say she is to soft. If she shows her strength, they attack her for being to strong. I find it interesting how the male candidates can be both strong and soft, no one seems to question that. Time to get up to date people, a women should be allowed to be as strong as needed to get her point across, just as a man has the right to. What should be focused on are the issues that are dramatically affecting this country.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:37 pm |
  15. Miguelito

    Gergen still totally biased for the Clintons. This is exactly the same, if not worse, then Canada thing with Obama. Canada doesnt steal American jobs, Columbia could.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  16. Terry Harris

    When is the media going to look at the consultations of the Clinton campaign with Canada on NAFTA? Their reassurances to Canada was what initiated the NAFTA inquiries by reporters at the outset. The Canadian government then spun those inquiries to Obama, for their own purposes. After that the US media has given Clinton a free ride on the issue. Don't you think Penn was active there?

    April 7, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  17. Christine

    I really don't know what makes me more sick the people on this blog or the media hate for Hillary. When can Hillary ever be "gracious" or "emotionally appealing" or "warm" without people making fun of her and saying it is all a lie. Really she is a strong woman which will not come across on TV and reporters won't like it. I really don't think
    Mrs. Thatcher was all warm and fuzzy. Do peopel really want a poodle for president I know I don't so I can never get behind Obama.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  18. Jim

    Why are we not asking Hillary Clinton what she was thinking by putting a lobbyist in charge of her campaign?

    Are we to believe there's nothing in it for Penn, his company, his company's clients? He's a lobbyist. He's lobbying for a Clinton White House. The media, and Obama, has really let Clinton off the hook on this one.

    Pointing a finger at Penn for lobbying, oops Public Relations, is ridiculous. He's a lobbyist. Lobbying is what lobbyists do.

    Tell me we're not expected to believe there's nothing in the Clinton presidency for Penn. Can you say Cheney and Haliburton.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:31 pm |
  19. Vridar

    Even if I did not believe that Hillary (and Bill) are pathological dissemblers, dishonest and opportunistic to the core, I would still not vote for her given her absolutely atrocious management of her campaign.

    It is simply not enough to know policy inside-out. The President has to be able to run the government effectively and efficiently from the top-down.

    Barack showed good judgment not only concerning the decision to authorize W. to invade Iraq, but regarding the decisions made in his campaign. He has convinced me that he has the judgment, knowledge and temperment to be an effective President.

    And the truth is that Hillary did not show poor judgment regarding the vote to Authorize the Use of Military Force in Iraq. What she revealed was that she is a dissembling political opportunist. Just as Bush thought we would storm into Iraq and be showered with roses, then declare victory on an aircraft carrier–all in time for use during the '04 campaign–so, too, did Hillary think that she was setting herself up on the right side of the Iraq issue in '02. . . politically!!!

    No more do we need a President whose guiding principle in political expedience!

    Vote Obama '08. . . Pleeeeaaaasseeee!

    April 7, 2008 at 8:30 pm |
  20. Jake

    If Pennsylvania had NY-style tabloids, the headlines would be "Clinton Hates Penn, State of Confusion" and "Clinton better off without Penn"

    April 7, 2008 at 8:28 pm |
  21. Andrew

    He quit because he's never going to see his multimillion compensation from the campaign.
    She's broke, remember?

    April 7, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  22. Bill in VA

    David Gergen!!! How can you possibly say, " Still, it was a far cry from what one of Barack Obama’s top advisers did when he met with Canadian officials on NAFTA and his mistake properly set off a mini-firestorm".

    Are you kidding me? This was Clinton's strategic adviser. This was not a misinterpretation of a conversation. This was about $$$$.

    I have valued and respected your judgment and opinion through Democratic and Republican presidents. This has ended.

    Now I question your credibility and fear if you peel away the mask James Carville will pop out. A very sad day.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  23. L Jeanne

    I think you’re in the forest David. I guess if I were win-at-any-cost Hillary, I would continue to infuse my public smokescreen with discussions blaming the campaign strategist; endless “new math” on the delegate count etc….ad nauseum…also. But there are some highly inconvenient issues that would be open game in a general election: Bill’s implied commitment to Burkle for staggering speaker’s fees and to those who funded his library; Their upcoming fraud case in Los Angeles County – for which their lawyers are now preparing for a November trial; The Clinton Chronicles DVD (now available on YouTube – which was not around during their previous reign)

    I believe in forgiveness and letting go of the past – but we’re talking about the potential president and first spouse of the United States here – not head of some city council. Do we really want to watch endless replays of video footage – featuring CURRENT White House residents – saying “I never had sex with that woman?”

    April 7, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  24. mel

    Why is this such a big deal? Because the media (esp CNN) just loves to go negative about Hillary. They let Obama do and say whatever he wants(like the white thing comment) but 90% of the politcal news is something negative about HIllary, when she talks about her economic plan, her health plan, her Iraq plan, her plan on China, Korea, etc, her plan on education, does the media cover any of that? No, does it cover Obamas plans no, because than they would have to look hard at his lack of them. Hillary is less than 4/10ths of 1% of the pop vote and less than 130 of the delegate vote and if the Democratic primary was a "winner take all" like the Republicans is, she would have already had the nomination even without Mi or FL. Obama cannot beat McCain, the states he won will vote Republican like the past 4 elections and McCain will be in, oh great another 4 years of failed policy. GO HILLARY

    April 7, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  25. terri--ky

    joe i think the media owes it to obama to show the true face of hrc. they've for weeks showed the words of rev. wright not sen obama and that wasnt fair. but all the wrong doing of hrc isnt on the front burner she only demoted her pr rep not fired, can she not do it alone; make her tax returns available @ 4pm friday during the mlk celebration that she knew would have alot of coverage out of respect using his moment for her personal gain; lie about the mother and child issue, yes lie because she running for the highest office in the us. she should have had common sense to check it out before repeating it playing on sympathy. i dont trust her at 3am or 3pm. is she going to take the word of me and push the button, because i said i HEARD etc china is going to do something. she took that mans word that he HEARD. also, i guess you too made millions , and you and hrc had brunch together because believe me your a vote for her when she gets in office she will only get richer and us poorer, why do think penn did what he did and only got demoted. he stuck his fingers in the cookie jar too soon. dont count your chickens b4 they hatch is what his mother should have taught him and now her. wake up sir.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:10 pm |
  26. Muffie

    Tsk Tsk Tsk...smoke and mirrors 101. Just let Camp Clinton keep shooting themselves in the foot. The more she talks the more we see Bill holding her on his lap moving the stick up and down. Hasn't anybody else had their fair share of 20 years of Bushes and Clintons?? And look where we all sit NOW!

    Billary is about done...kitchen sink is NOT required...just stick a fork in em. From my volunteer work in PA, those folks know exactly what time it is....OBAMA-time.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:09 pm |
  27. Roger May Philadelphia, Pa

    It absolutely amazes me that Hillary got away with having Mark Penn as her top strategist for so long. She claims she is pro-union and anti-NAFTA, yet Penn's PR firm runs a department devoted to union busting and now we see that he is working to get a free trade deal that she is supposedly against. This is the same slimeball that defended the tobacco companies against punishments for targeting children in advertising. The campaign had the audacity to court unions for their endorsement knowing full well what Penn represents. When cornered by labor, Penn replied that he has never worked for the union busting department. However, as CEO he allows it to operate! This is only further proof that nothing that comes out of Hillary's mouth can't be trusted, just like her imaginary snipers!!!

    April 7, 2008 at 8:08 pm |
  28. Linda

    Hillary Clinton, with or without Mark Penn, is a manipulative liar. Carl Bernstein's book , The Woman in Charge, points that out. Mark Penn did not tell that lie about sniper fire in Bosnia. Hillary did. Mark Penn did not tell that lie about the state of American health care from the perspective of the young pregnant woman. Hillary did! Hillary Clinton doesn't love America, in my opinion. She craves power and influence and the opportunity to top Bill Clinton's earning power.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  29. idc

    Joe and NJ, your comments are pathetic and sad. Any fair minded person can see who has negative. Any fair minded person can see who has been yelling bias. Look at NJ, he is doing it now. YOu can support Hilliary or McCain without distortions and distractions. This will force all Americans to focus on the issues. We will become a better country for it.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  30. jennym

    He is still an adviser just no official title. I'm not sure anything is really different.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  31. Dori in AZ

    Penn is still involved in Hillary's campaign, so while he may have been "demoted," that's not exactly a resignation. With that much chaos and infighting going on, what can we expect if Hillary becomes President?

    And, if the Clintons are planning to throw the kitchen sink – and, maybe the bathroom, too – at Sen. Obama, could they please just do that and get it over with?

    I know this for myself. If Sen. Obama is not our candidate for whatever reason, I still will not vote for Hillary. The Former First Lady and Senator from New York has played too many games, told too many lies and distortions of the truth, stood up too many times for what is wrong, and is too well-connected to a lying former President for my comfort level.

    I will not support Hillary in any capacity. Period.

    Si se puede! Obama 2008!

    April 7, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  32. Michael

    Dear New Jersey,

    What do you call Clinton saying"shame on you Barak Obama" She up there throwing the everything she can at him. Funny thing is, the whole time Clinton is lying to Ohio about nafta. She was for it in the Whitehouse as firstlady. The mailing were true. Clinton on Television said nafta was good..she said it. Now her top advisor is working for the Columbian goverment? Who is not fired by the way. He is still on the camapign. Clinton lied about Ireland, lied about nafta to ohio, lied about Bosnia. Then she makes a joke about it? Bad taste. My brother was almost killed by sniper fire.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  33. Bill from CA

    The fact that we are discussing Penn and not the $109M that the Clintons reported in their tax papers should answer your question as to why now. If this ain't a masterfully timed work of spin, I don't know what is.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  34. greg r

    That meeting is just one more reason why we need a change in Washington, How many other meetings like that take place never to be found? Hilary is a liar, plain and simple.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  35. Bruce

    Stop the excuses:

    I lied about Bosnia (bah, it's the media's fault)
    I don't present my tax returns (bah, it's Obama's fault)
    I tell a fake story (it's the hospital's fault for checking the facts)
    my husband cheated (it's the other woman's fault (how anti-feminist can you get, btw).

    multiple staffers on my campaign leave (it's the media's fault).

    I can't even run a campaign staff (but I'm experienced enough to run the country)

    And you're offended by Obama. Good grief, look to your own candidate.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  36. scott

    For God's sake ... the phrase is "Eating your cake and having it too."

    Google Paul vs. Clinton. Why does NO-ONE talk about this?

    April 7, 2008 at 8:00 pm |
  37. kaz

    How Mrs.Clintons managed her campaign shows her leadership. By all means it is not the leadership our country need. The only thing she can do just be mean and pray that something happen to OBAMA

    April 7, 2008 at 7:58 pm |
  38. Joanne in Irvine, CA

    The underlying reality here is that Hillary's staff have been arguing over "who" she should be; tough, soft, a fighter, a more feminine woman, etc. Unfortunately, she apparently allows this manipulation of herself in her desperation to win. I can't image Barack being anyone but who he already is; warm, serious, relaxed, intelligent, willing to deal with whatever comes up in his own way without others telling him how he should appear.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:57 pm |
  39. Dana Johnson Kensington Maryland

    By the way, If the Clinton Campaign is planning to go hard Negative, it will be just before the Pennsylvania Primary, with too little time for Obama to respond.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  40. jon

    Only Hillary is responsible for Hillary. End of story. I am certain this is political and PA union related. They have been calling on her to fire him and PA is her last hope. So there you go....step down, but don't leave just yet, still need ya in private.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  41. Mike

    This is a bit like firing the Captain while the Titanic is already sinking.

    Blame might be in place, but it's not going to make a bit of difference.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  42. HSD-NYC

    I think David Gergen has been one of the more insightful commentators on the CNN roster during this Primary. However, he seems to have missed a mark with Mr. Penn.

    The incident with the Colombian government is much more significant than a misinterpreted gaff on the part of one of Senator Obama's advisors during a university tour.

    If "judgement" is a byword of this primary, then one has to wonder about Hillary Clinton's judgement in bringing an active lobbyist into her closest ranks. More important, the question of "what was he thinking?" spills over to Mrs. Clinton too. If NAFTA reform is truly a high priority item on her agenda – would she not make clear to all who work in her campaign the VALUES she expects them to support? Or is this just another case of Clinton double speak?

    No I believe the exact opposite – Mark Penn's playing both sides of the fense goes to the core of our doubts about the Clinton character – and this story deserves much more attention than it's gotten.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  43. Michael Grisham

    You have to be kidding to believe that an academic advisor meeting with Canadians was more at fault that a chief strategist meeting with a client nation seeking NAFTA status without fair labor treatment!

    April 7, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  44. Dana Johnson Kensington Maryland

    I doubt very much if Penn's dismissal will improve things for Hillary. Hillary herself is the problem, and the disarray in her campaign just shows her poor management skills. If this campaign were about some real positive direction, everyone could rally around that and get something done, but it is all about her, not her aspirations for the country. She is falling into the same packaging problems that sank Gore. He should have been able to beat Bush with his hands tied behind his back, but he kept changing his image until nobody knew who he was any more. Her fakeness is showing through more and more.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  45. NJ

    Why does the media keep insisting that it's only the Clinton campaign throwing kitchen sinks? From what I've seen, the Clinton campaign has been the one under massive attack lately – blowing everything up from the Bosnia story (shouldn't be THAT big a deal), to the tax returns being released – which only proved that she's a better citizen than the Obama campaign bargained for ($10mil charities and the donations from her book).

    The last 'kitchen sink' tactic for the Clinton campaign was the Wright scandal, and since then the Obama camp has released countless attacks – there's even that picture of a bruised "rocky-like' hillary going around.

    In my opinion, the Obama campaign has been throwing the kitchen and bathroom sink at Clinton, not the other way around. I love how the Oprah-owned media twists things.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:50 pm |
  46. Jamie Bloomquist

    This is just another example of how horribly Clinton’s campaign has been managed. This nomination was hers to lose and she has done so. Her campaign is a terminally ill organism and Penn is just one decaying appendage, falling off. American people need to look at how the candidates have managed their campaigns. John McCain had very nearly wrecked his campaign before he lucked out. Hillary has made every mistake, many of them several times over. How on Earth could she have squandered the riches of the opportunity she had when the primary season began? Simple, she lacks the executive leadership skills. Only Obama has run a campaign that suggests he has the leadership abilities to manage an effective government.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  47. John

    The more people know Hillbilly the more they also realize she's a fake and can not control the people that is in her campaign.
    Enough said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  48. Scott Mayhew

    Gergen,
    You're a long time Hillary supporter so everything you say needs to be taken with a bucket of salt. How in Gods green earth can you honestly say that what Penn did is less than the made up story of Obama's surrogate going to Canada, especially when the follow up story (which you fail to mention) actually fingered the Clinton team for that trip and showed the initial story got it wrong?

    Hillary chose her strategist, chose her lies, chose her negativity. That is who she is.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  49. Daryl,CA

    I don't get it, people keep talking about the negative campaign back and forth. I see the Hillary message as extremely negative and desperate. She says that people trusted with a vote by large numbers of people are free to break that trust and vote for her instead. She blames other people for all of her problems. She surrounds herself with angry people. Aren't we ready to rebuke would be leaders who have anger issues and personal problems. What happened to ethics? Isn't it obvious that she will be changing her policies left and right if she were to some how change the election. I just wonder who is going to take the blame for her next big failure.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:40 pm |
  50. Jacqueline, NC

    Hillary Clinton has shown the worst possible side of what type of Commander-in-Chief she would be. #1 being her trustworthiness (meaning the flashback of her Bosnia trip & through no fault of her own but you must check your sources, the story of the woman in Ohio who died and did have medical insurance; #2 Penn and herself along with her campaign's NEGATIVE campaigning and negativity does nothing but breeds negativity; and #3 to say nothing more but she is no more experienced than the rest of the candidates (she did a lot while in the White House but most of the time was probably spent denouncing or being mad with Bill over his affairs). I honestly believe that she may have already ruined her chances for this election based on lack of credibility for both Clintons.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
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