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Old 04-07-2008, 08:50 AM   #361
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Shouldn't he have been fired a long time ago anyway?

April 7, 2008
Top Clinton Aide Leaving His Post Under Pressure
By JOHN M. BRODER

ALBUQUERQUE — Mark Penn, the pollster who has advised Bill and Hillary Clinton since 1996, stepped down under pressure on Sunday as the chief political strategist for Mrs. Clinton’s struggling presidential campaign after his private business arrangements again clashed with her campaign positions.

Mr. Penn, who was widely disliked by Mrs. Clinton’s fiercest loyalists and had bitterly feuded with many of them, sealed his fate last week by meeting with officials from Colombia, which hired him to help secure passage of a bilateral trade treaty with the United States that Mrs. Clinton, a senator from New York, opposes.

Mr. Penn met with the Colombians in his role as chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations firm. He has refused to sever his ties to the company, which also represented Countrywide Financial, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, and through a subsidiary represented Blackwater Worldwide, the military contractor blamed for numerous civilian deaths in Iraq.

Mr. Penn’s shift — he will continue to do some polling — is the latest upheaval in a campaign that has seen its manager replaced, faced critical money shortages and has often lagged behind Senator Barack Obama of Illinois in a cohesive message and ground strategy. The move comes at a crucial juncture, just two weeks before the Pennsylvania primary on April 22, which Mrs. Clinton needs to win to keep hope of her nomination alive.

Mr. Penn’s work on the trade treaty with Colombia threatened to undercut Mrs. Clinton’s support among the blue-collar voters who are a crucial part of her base, as well as call into question the sincerity of her populist economic message.

A statement from Maggie Williams, the campaign manager, and comments from aides suggested that Mr. Penn voluntarily stepped aside, but other knowledgeable aides said that Mrs. Clinton was furious when she learned of the Colombia talks and insisted on Mr. Penn’s demotion. Mr. Clinton concurred in that judgment, aides said.

The Clinton campaign declined to make Mr. Penn available for comment. On Friday he apologized to the campaign for taking on the Colombian contract.

For months, many have wondered why Mrs. Clinton had protected the gruff, rumpled strategist. Many rivals within the campaign held Mr. Penn responsible for the flawed electoral strategy that is considered partly to blame for Mrs. Clinton’s difficult political position, trailing Mr. Obama by more than a hundred delegates and facing a very narrow path to winning the Democratic nomination.

Mr. Penn advocated the plan to focus on a limited number of big state primaries, ignoring many smaller states and caucuses, where Mr. Obama built what appears to be an impregnable lead in pledged delegates.

Mr. Penn also early on resisted efforts to humanize Mrs. Clinton, insisting that her personality was not a detriment and that voters would be drawn to her experience and presumed competence. He repeatedly pointed to polling data to support his position, leading to battles with other aides who later said it was the glimpses of vulnerability and humanity seen after her loss in Iowa that enabled her to rebound.

In a terse statement Sunday evening, Ms. Williams, the campaign manager, said, “After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the Clinton campaign.”

His polling firm, Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign, the statement said. Geoff Garin, who has been conducting polling for the campaign and will continue to provide data, and Howard Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton’s longtime communications director, will coordinate the campaign’s strategic message from now on, the statement added.

Mr. Penn’s departure as chief adviser could have an effect on Mrs. Clinton’s message during the remaining contests. His strategy — emphasizing Mrs. Clinton’s strength and experience — has been controversial for months. Critics have complained that his approach allowed Mr. Obama to seize the larger theme of change that has come to define the 2008 election.

As the former first lady’s initial approach failed to blunt Mr. Obama’s rise, Mr. Penn increasingly favored tougher attacks; some colleagues argued internally that they would be counterproductive.

Mr. Garin, who advised Mrs. Clinton’s winning campaign for a Senate seat in 2000 and only recently joined her presidential bid, has argued throughout the primaries that her route to victory lies less in assailing Mr. Obama than in buttressing her own image as a leader who could connect with average Americans and improve their lives.

Mr. Penn’s decision to meet last Monday with Colombia’s ambassador to the United States in his role as head of Burson-Marsteller put Mrs. Clinton in a precarious political position as she tries to convince Pennsylvania voters that she is the best candidate to address their concerns about jobs and the economy. Many voters in Pennsylvania, like in Ohio, which Mrs. Clinton won, blame trade agreements for the hemorrhaging of jobs that has left areas like Scranton with high unemployment rates and a preponderance of lower paying jobs.

The Colombian government hired the Burson-Marsteller firm last year under a $300,000 one-year contract to help secure passage of a bilateral trade treaty with the United States. Mrs. Clinton, like many Democrats, has opposed the deal, saying it is unfavorable to American workers.

On Saturday, the Colombian government fired Mr. Penn’s firm, saying his efforts to distance himself from them were an insult.

There has been a long history of resentment toward Mr. Penn within the Clinton campaign because of the feeling that he was letting his business interests trump the interests of the campaign. People from the beginning have questioned why he had not recused himself from his role at Burson-Marsteller.

Although the end of the primary season is drawing near, campaign aides said Mr. Penn’s demotion would change the internal dynamics of the Clinton camp, with a more collegial atmosphere replacing the first-among-equals structure Mr. Penn created around himself.

Mr. Penn worked his way into the Clintons’ favor during President Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign. He provided the polling used by Dick Morris, then an influential adviser to Mr. Clinton, to create Mr. Clinton’s small-bore campaign strategy, much of it aimed at wooing so-called soccer moms with positions like support for school uniforms and for the V-chip to monitor violence on television.

When Mr. Morris had to quit in 1996 because of his association with a call girl, Mr. Clinton’s campaign went on “seamlessly,” Mrs. Clinton wrote in her memoir, “because Mark Penn continued to offer the thoughtful research and analysis.” He remained for the second Clinton term and through Mr. Clinton’s impeachment trial, demonstrating, among other things, one of the virtues that the Clintons prized most: loyalty.

In 2000, Mr. Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, initially considered hiring Mr. Penn for his presidential campaign, but he decided Mr. Penn was too devoted to the Clintons to offer him objective advice. Mrs. Clinton, who described him in her memoir as brilliant and intense, shrewd and insightful, hired him for her first run at the Senate.

Mr. Penn and his business partner, Doug Schoen, began their polling firm in 1977 when they worked for Edward I. Koch’s campaign for mayor of New York. They went on to become deeply involved in campaigns for politicians in other countries, including Menachem Begin in Israel in 1981. He also advised David N. Dinkins in 1989 in his successful New York mayoral race over Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Mr. Penn advocated that Democrats did best when they campaigned from the center, although this did not always sit well with others in the party. His clients have included the Democratic Leadership Council and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, defeated in his Democratic primary and now an independent.

Mr. Penn described his philosophy in his book, “Microtrends,” published last year. Because of “niching,” he wrote, “there is no one America anymore” but “hundreds of Americas.” His extensive polling led him to believe that “Americans overwhelmingly favor small, reasonable ideas over big, grandiose schemes.”

Mrs. Clinton has not spoken to reporters since the news of Mr. Penn’s meeting with the Colombian officials broke at the end of last week. In several public appearances this weekend, she gave no indication of anger or a pending shake-up in her campaign. But at a rally on Sunday morning in Missoula, Mont., she said the contest with Mr. Obama was still very close and predicted many “twists and turns” before it was resolved.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:29 AM   #362
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I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:48 AM   #363
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*looks left* *looks right*....

.....

.......

Go Obama!
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:26 PM   #364
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
You're kidding, Greenspan endorsed a candidate who openly admitted that he doesn't know much about the economy? Oh right, he has his book. April fools?
Nope
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:48 PM   #365
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Massuh?


NY Magazine

Director Spike Lee was asked about his political leanings this season. He had kind words for Sen. Obama, even taking credit for his marriage to Michelle:

" I'm riding my man Obama. I think he's a visionary. Actually, Barack told me the first date he took Michelle to was Do the Right Thing. I said, "Thank God I made it. Otherwise you would have taken her to Soul Man. Michelle would have been like, 'What's wrong with this brother?' "

However, Lee attacked the Clintons, calling them liars who drag along black politicians as subservients:

The Clintons, man, they would lie on a stack of Bibles. Snipers? That's not misspeaking; that's some pure bullshit. I voted for Clinton twice, but that's over with. These old black politicians say, "Ooh, Massuh Clinton was good to us, massuh hired a lot of us, massuh was good!" Hoo! Charlie Rangel, David Dinkins--they have to understand this is a new day. People ain't feelin' that stuff. It's like a tide, and the people who get in the way are just gonna get swept out into the ocean.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:53 PM   #366
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(AP)

WASHINGTON — A proposal by Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton would provide $300 million a year in increased government funding on breast cancer research, focusing on treatment and exploring possible genetic and environmental triggers for the disease.

The presidential hopeful and former first lady discussed her plan with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on her television show, which was scheduled to air Monday. As president, Clinton told DeGeneres, she would set a goal of finding a cure for the disease within 10 years.

Clinton's plan would increase funding for breast cancer research and treatment through programs at the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

It would also help more low-income women gain access to screenings like mammograms by making them more affordable. Among other things, she would eliminate Medicare co-payments for mammograms.

Clinton also planned to propose a new program to explore racial disparities in diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

About 40,000 women died of breast cancer in the United States in 2007, and some 240,000 new cases were expected to be diagnosed this year.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:08 PM   #367
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Massuh?

Director Spike Lee was asked about his political leanings this season.
Lee attacked the Clintons, calling them liars who drag along black politicians as subservients:

. I voted for Clinton twice, but that's over with. These old black politicians say, "Ooh, Massuh Clinton was good to us, massuh hired a lot of us, massuh was good!" Hoo! Charlie Rangel, David Dinkins--they have to understand this is a new day. People ain't feelin' that stuff. It's like a tide, and the people who get in the way are just gonna get swept out into the ocean.
I remember seeing "she's got to have it" in the 80s when it came out


I like Spike Lee films


I have heard people call him a "hater" in the past.

I wouldn't go there.

But, I will call him an idiot.

Having lived through the Clinton years I know what Clinton did

and calling him "master" equating him to a slave over-seer is just plain stupid and hateful

I'd include it along with how Rev Wright referred to the Clintons

these Obama supporters are making it less likely that people like me will vote for Obama in Nov


however, I may still go see Spike's films
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:58 AM   #368
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Generation Pest?

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April 8, 2008
Obama’s Young Backers Twist Parents’ Arms
By JAN HOFFMAN
The daily phone calls. The midnight e-mail. And, when college lets out, those dinner table declamations? Oh, please.

Senator Barack Obama’s devotees just won’t give their parents a break.

As the race for the Democratic presidential nomination continues, youthful volunteers for each candidate have been campaigning with bright-eyed brio, not only door-to-door but also at home. But the young supporters of Mr. Obama, who has captured a majority of under-30 primary voters, seem to be leading in the pestering sweepstakes. They send their parents the latest Obama YouTube videos, blog exhortations and “Tell Your Mama/Vote for Obama!” bumper stickers.

Megan Simpson, a Penn State senior, had not been able to budge her father, a Republican. But the day before the deadline for registering for the coming Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, she handed him the forms and threw in a deal-sweetener as well. “I said, ‘Dad, if you change your party affiliation in time to vote for Obama,’ ” recalled Ms. Simpson, 22, an Obama campus volunteer, “ ‘I will get you the paperwork the day after the primary if you want to switch back to being a Republican.’ ”

Thus did Ralph E. Simpson Jr., 50, construction company owner, become a newly minted Democrat. “I probably will switch my affiliation back,” Mr. Simpson said, “but I haven’t decided who I will vote for in the general election. If Meg keeps working on me, who knows?”

No poll has counted Obama supporters who made their choice at the urging of their children. But combined exit polls for all the primaries so far (excluding Florida and Michigan) show that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has edged out Mr. Obama, 50 percent to 46 percent, among voters ages 45 to 64 — those who are old enough, and then some, to be the parents of Mr. Obama’s young supporters.

But even politicians are mentioning the persuasiveness of their children, either in earnest or as political cover, as a factor in their Obama endorsements.

That list of Democrats includes Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

While politicians inevitably invoke children and the future, rarely have the political preferences of children themselves carried much weight with their elders. On the contrary: when baby boomer parents were the age their children are now, the ideological and social gap between generations was more pronounced. Parents were, by definition, authoritarian. Their children were, by definition, anti-.

But the sharp distinctions between generations have eroded. Parents now are exponentially more entwined with their offspring, inclined to place their children’s emotional well-being ahead of their own. Even when students live away at college, many parents call them and send text messages every day.

The Obama campaign was well positioned to capitalize on this veritable seamlessness. From the outset, Mr. Obama eagerly sought out young voters with his Internet operation and a widespread, efficient campus network. Those efforts are paying off: in all Democratic primaries to date (excluding Florida and Michigan), about 6 in 10 voters under age 30 have supported him, according to exit polls conducted by Edison/Mitofsky.

For some waffling primary voters, the relentless push by their children was good enough reason to capitulate. Eager to encourage their offspring’s latest enthusiasm, they have been willing to toss up their hands and vote for Mr. Obama, if only to impress their children.

“Our kids are probably more precious to us than any previous generation of parents,” said Dan Kindlon, a Harvard child psychologist. “We have fewer of them, we’re relativists, and we’re more swayed by them. A lot of parents are a little afraid of their kids.”

For many parents, this campaign season also feels like a fond flashback: in their children’s unvarnished idealism, many see a resurrection of their own youthful political passions.

“It’s something you can brag to your friends about,” said Professor Kindlon, who writes about child-rearing and adolescents. “ ‘My kid is involved in politics.’ ”

Donna Wall, 50, an elementary school teacher from Roanoke Rapids, N.C., had been a supporter of Mrs. Clinton. But her son, Drew, 21, a college student and Obama volunteer, would not let up until his mother switched allegiances for the coming primary.

“I’m glad they’re interested in something other than their own self-interest and partying,” Mrs. Wall said.

Curtis Gans, a staff director of Eugene J. McCarthy’s 1968 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, pointed out that the youthful enthusiasm in this primary did resemble that of 40 years ago. But he said that while Mr. McCarthy’s temporary success was largely due to the support of college students and middle-class mothers, they had been aroused more by the issue of the Vietnam War than by the candidate’s charisma.

“People are enthused by the fact that young people are engaged and excited again,” said Mr. Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate at American University. “They think that’s really healthy, and they’d like to sustain it. But at this point, it is temporary and it is about Obama.”

There’s no telling whether these youthful importunings on Mr. Obama’s behalf will tip the balance for the nomination, or follow him into the general election should he be nominated. Certainly Mrs. Clinton is not without her own fresh-faced vanguard.

Rachel Mattson, 18, a freshman at Wellesley, called her mother, Michelle, in Memphis daily, pressing her to vote for Mrs. Clinton in the Tennessee primary.

“I don’t see a huge difference between the two candidates,” said Michelle Mattson, 45. “But Rachel never let it go. You’ll be sitting at the dinner table for an hour going over this stuff! Her enthusiasm and what it means to her inspired me.” She voted for Mrs. Clinton.

While Mrs. Clinton has a national network of student volunteers, Mr. Obama’s network is far more extensive. Web sites like Kids for Obama and YrMomma4Obama urge youngsters to talk up the candidate to their parents.

The two adult sons of Governor Doyle, 62, both black and both adopted, spoke to him with fervor about Mr. Obama’s vision of a multiracial country. Then Mr. Doyle’s young grandson piled on.

“He’s a complete Barackomaniac,” Mr. Doyle said in a phone interview. “When I asked him why, he said, ‘I think he’s really going to work hard for us.’ I thought, that’s it through the eyes of a 7-year-old. ‘He’ll work hard,’ and ‘for us.’ ”

The stealth campaigning was more persistent in the home of Senator Casey, 47. Mr. Casey, who was going to remain neutral, noticed how excited his four daughters, ages 11 to 19, were about Mr. Obama. The autographed Obama posters on the bedroom walls. The self-imposed hush in the living room when Mr. Obama would give a televised speech.

His daughter Julia, 13, would say, “Dad, when are you going to endorse Obama?” Mr. Casey recalled in a phone interview. “My response was, ‘I’m thinking about a lot of things, Julia.’ And she’d laugh and say, ‘Dad, answer my question.’ ”

Not all parents have been overjoyed to see their children donate countless unpaid hours to Mr. Obama. Bader ElShareif, 52, who immigrated from Gaza 31 years ago, was appalled that his daughter Ami, 20, a student at the University of Wisconsin, worked almost seven days a week last summer in Chicago for the candidate. Mr. ElShareif, who was leaning toward Senator John McCain, was annoyed that she did not have a salaried job to defray college expenses.

“I’d be exhausted, but I’d still want to debate with him,” Ms. ElShareif said. “Then he’d start calling me up and saying, ‘Hey, did you hear this about Obama? So and so endorsed him!’ ”

In the Illinois primary, Mr. ElShareif voted for Mr. Obama. His daughter, thrilled, sent him an Obama sign, which he displays in his convenience store near the University of Chicago.

“The neighbors and the students come in now and say, ‘We like your sign,’ ” Mr. ElShareif said. “Maybe these young people know something we don’t.”

Dalia Sussman contributed reporting.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:07 AM   #369
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Quote:
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these Obama supporters are making it less likely that people like me will vote for Obama in Nov



you realize that you'd be pulling the lever for Obama, not for Spike Lee, right? and not for Rev. Wright? i know they might all look the same, but black people are actually all individuals with different thoughts and opinions.

it was interesting. when i was in the hospital, my cardiopulminologist -- who was superb -- was late one day. so i said, "oh, no worries, just send his wife! she'll be just as good."
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:13 AM   #370
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Originally posted by deep


these Obama supporters are making it less likely that people like me will vote for Obama in Nov
And the McCain supporters make you feel more comfortable?
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:31 AM   #371
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And the McCain supporters make you feel more comfortable?


McCain supporters aren't black.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:49 PM   #372
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
And the McCain supporters make you feel more comfortable?
if you are paying attention

McCain has got out in front of statements that he said were wrong, at risk of alienating some of the more strident people on the right

lately, they have been going off on McCain for him saying that Obama is qualified to be Commander in Chief
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:50 PM   #373
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McCain supporters aren't black.
you have sunken to some lows lately
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:52 PM   #374
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if you are paying attention

McCain has got out in front of statements that he said were wrong, at risk of alienating some of the more strident people on the right

lately, they have been going off on McCain for him saying that Obama is qualified to be Commander in Chief
I've been paying attention, and some of the things that come out of his supporters mouth would make even the devil cry...
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:00 PM   #375
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Quote:
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You're kidding, Greenspan endorsed a candidate who openly admitted that he doesn't know much about the economy? Oh right, he has his book. April fools?
He is more of an expert on national security and foreign policy than the economy, but when it comes to the economy he has more knowledge and experience on the issue than either Hillary or Obama.
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