Mark Penn quits as Clinton’s “chief strategist” — he’s still doing polling and giving advice

The fallout continues from the meeting Mark Penn had with his (now former) client, the Colombian government, to strategize about a trade pact that his client, Hillary Clinton, opposes. Yesterday, Colombia fired Penn. Today, according to AP, Penn gave up his job as top strategist for Hillary Clinton:

The manager of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign says Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the campaign.

Campaign manager Maggie Williams issued a statement Sunday saying the action comes after what she referred to as ”the events of the last few days.”

Williams says Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign.

The New York Times described the statement from Williams as “terse” and added some background:

Mr. Penn, who has been associated with Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton for a dozen years, has come under withering criticism for continuing to consult with clients as chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, the international lobbying and public relations firm.

He has also been held responsible for the flawed electoral strategy considered partly responsible for Mrs. Clinton’s difficult political position, trailing Senator Barack Obama by more than a hundred delegates and with a very narrow path to winning the Democratic nomination.

I suspect, given the way everyone on the Clinton campaign seems to hate Mark Penn, that we’ll probably hear more about this over the next few days and weeks.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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