April 8th, 2008
03:26 PM ET

Mark Penn's fall is about women, not a meeting

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/14/art.faye.wattleton.jpg caption="Faye Wattleton, President, Center for the Advancement of Women"]

Mark Penn’s resignation as chief strategist for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was a long time coming. A meeting with the Colombian government to discuss a free trade pact by the head of a major PR firm is, in and of itself, not sufficient to warrant the resignation of the campaign chief.  The simple reality is that Mark Penn has led Ms. Clinton’s campaign with a losing strategy.

Perhaps the primary omission is the candidate’s attack mode and her failure to mobilize and excite half the electorate – women. Week after week, in spite of the fact that Sen. Barack Obama did not speak to women either, Ms. Clinton's polls have been in free fall. While blacks and new entrants to the world of politics, young people, were excited by the rhetoric and yes, even the racial controversy in Mr. Obama’s candidacy, Ms. Clinton can’t seem to find her stride.

 – Faye Wattleton, 360° Contributor/President of the Center for the Advancement of Women

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. JT

    We want Hillary to be perfect!!!

    She has been in public life for a long time. She done more good than the petty little stuff that the media loves to talk about.

    Obama is doing 3 times more advertisement than Hillary but Hillary is stil winning in PA.

    She has the momentum!!!

    Hillary 08!!!!

    April 9, 2008 at 3:10 am |
  2. JT

    Hillary has been in public life for a long time. Therefore, she has a lot to defend.

    April 9, 2008 at 3:04 am |
  3. neecee

    Tammie – You've missed Fay Wattleton's point. Read her comments again. She is NOT on the African American bandwagon. Her comments are valid and rooted in fact!!

    April 9, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  4. Rob, Arvada, CO

    "Unfortunately, a lot of voters were turned off by this and many, like myself, have quit the Democratic Party and will likely vote for McCain if Hillary loses the nomination." How many times to we have to hear this sad, sad song! Every day it's the same thing, if Hillary doesn't win then it's McCain. Bah! You people aren't Democrats, you're children!

    April 9, 2008 at 1:16 am |
  5. Jaye

    Wow, you Clinton supporters really amaze me with your level of delusionalism (If that's not a word – it should be). You all still think she has a chance of winning the nomination.

    April 8, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  6. Suzanne

    I've heard complaints about Mark Penn for months and I wonder why Hilliary did not get rid of him sooner. If she had she might be on better ground today than she is.

    I hope HRC's campaign finds its stride and goes on to win. I don't think Obama has enough experience or any substance behind his rhetoric. For most management jobs we require a fair amount of experience; we are "hiring" someone for the most important job in the country – are we seriously going to put someone in the White House who only has 2 years of experience in the federal Senate? I hope we are smarter than that.

    Suzanne P.
    Knoxville TN

    April 8, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  7. Latino4ClintonDaly City, CA

    Clinton was not running a bad campaign and I do not buy the argument that she was running a negative campaign. To the contrary, I think she was treating Obama with cotton gloves because she was afraid of being accused of being racist and negative. At the end it didn't matter because she was label as such by the obviously biased media.

    Unfortunately this was turned into a race campaign by African Americans who everwhelmingly shifted gtheir loyalties to Obama and abandoned those who have done so much for the black communities by promoting equal rights for every american. Now is too late to pretend that race is not a factor in this race. Unfortunately, a lot of voters were turned off by this and many, like myself, have quit the Democratic Party and will likely vote for McCain if Hillary loses the nomination.

    I feel that the Media, the DNC and the Party betrayed me and I will no longer be a part of a Party that has no problem rigging the nomination to favor their candidate of choice to suit their own interest. I hurts to turn my back on the Party that I have always supported and believed in until now, but I can't continue to support a corrupt system like the DNC.

    April 8, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  8. La Chatte, Portland, OR

    Don't count her out in PA, and don't forget that we have a statistical tie. Do what Hillary would do: Keep on working and stop dwelling on polls and testosterone-driven negativity. She has promised not to quit on us, so don't quit on her!

    Yes, Mark Penn should have been canned months and months ago, but he wasn't. Yes, he blew it with truly loser strategy, but let's look forward. It ain't over 'til it's over, so get busy and stop whining! I'd sure hate to wake to find out she lost because people, especially women, bought into the B.S. and didn't bother to fight.

    April 8, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  9. Yvonne

    No matter who Hillary gets to run her campaign there's nothing she can do to remove the fact that she is a Clinton running on old steam. She is not making history by running as a woman. She is history. The number one mistake of the whole Clinton campaign was starting the campaign in the first place. I believe Hillary has an ambition to be the first woman President, but I believe that�s ordained for some other woman who is not dependant on the legacy of her husband to succeed.

    Also on another topic, the women�s movement and the black movement are of no comparison. American women have never collectively been enslaved. It really bothers me when black women are torn between the two movements. This is not the first time in history where the women�s movement has been used as a distraction of the progression of Black Americans.

    April 8, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  10. Sharon

    Pennsylvania will give Hillary her stride back.....and her groove thang......:)

    April 8, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  11. tammie

    Faye Wattleton!
    I have admired your accomplishment until now, you seem to have jumped on the African American bandwagon. Anyone not of the same frame of mind as you,you try to bully them into submission.
    People will start seeing thru the politics of hot air and retoric & the silver tounged glibness of Obama. Peel all that away and you have nothing.

    April 8, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  12. C Watson

    I'm no fan of Mark Penn but with all of Hillary's flop-flops, exaggerations, misrepresentations and downright lies, I'm not convinced any campaign strategy could come out on top of that.

    April 8, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  13. Cindy

    When I heard that Hillary got Mark to resign I knew it was about how bad he has run her campaign. I think that they were looking for an excuse to get rid of him so she could get someone else. Because really he has done a really poor job. I mean her ratings are WAY down and Obama has about caught her in Pennsylvania. I think if the free trade meeting wouldn't have happened that they would have still found some other reason to get him out. It was just a matter of time. But honestly I think they did it a little too late.

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    April 8, 2008 at 3:40 pm |

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