Mark Penn Reportedly Dumber Than Previously Realized
Campaign strategist Mark Penn has long been held out as the despised, incompetent ally of the Clinton campaign's own gravediggers, what with his decisions to lobby for trade agreements that his candidate was simultaneously opposing and to make over Hillary as some sort of poll-driven android. Plus, he'd earned the open enmity of Harold Ickes, which never ends well for anyone. And yet his strange mystique has made the microtrending ninnybot the most unfireable person outside of legendary Knicks doofus Isiah Thomas.
And according to a report on Time's Karen Tumulty, the depths of Penn's political ignorance are still being plumbed:
Clinton picked people for her team primarily for their loyalty to her, instead of their mastery of the game. That became abundantly clear in a strategy session last year, according to two people who were there. As aides looked over the campaign calendar, chief strategist Mark Penn confidently predicted that an early win in California would put her over the top because she would pick up all the state's 370 delegates. It sounded smart, but as every high school civics student now knows, Penn was wrong: Democrats, unlike the Republicans, apportion their delegates according to vote totals, rather than allowing any state to award them winner-take-all. Sitting nearby, veteran Democratic insider Harold M. Ickes, who had helped write those rules, was horrified -- and let Penn know it. "How can it possibly be," Ickes asked, "that the much vaunted chief strategist doesn't understand proportional allocation?" And yet the strategy remained the same, with the campaign making its bet on big-state victories.
And keep in mind, this is the guy to whom Clinton's still in debt to the tune of fourteen kajillion dollars.