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Mark Penn
Mark Penn is Executive Vice President for Advertising and Strategy at Microsoft and a former White House pollster.

Entries by Mark Penn

We Need a Shot in the Arm, if Not a Moonshot

(134) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 6:05 PM

The recent dysfunction in Washington, with its massive collateral damage to the economy and national morale, couldn't have come at a worse time. It was no mere blip in America's otherwise good spirits. In fact, Americans haven't thought the country was on the right track since 2004. And now, according...

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A Public Ready to Act Against Genocide, in Syria and Beyond

(113) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 10:56 AM

After interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, conventional wisdom has it that our country is turning inward. But with dramatic global events that often unfold on the Internet, the public seems to have a heightened awareness of the risk of genocide and other kinds of mass atrocities -- and want our...

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Strategy Corner: Obama -- Don't Bring Back Class Warfare

(1864) Comments | Posted September 18, 2011 | 9:18 PM

Barack Obama is careening down the wrong path towards re-election.

He should be working as a president, not a candidate.

He should be claiming the vital center, not abandoning it.

He should be holding down taxes rather than raising them.

He should be mastering the global economy, not running away...

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Finding the American Spirit After 9/11

(44) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 3:45 PM

America continues to look for its true spirit in a post 9/11 world.

Just as the Vietnam war reset expectations about America in the world, so 9/11 changed America's outlook in the opening of the 21st century.

Coming off of the Clinton administration highs of boundless peace and prosperity,...

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Lessons Learned by Obama and the Republicans

(571) Comments | Posted August 2, 2011 | 6:59 AM

The 11th hour budget deal may save the country from default but is unlikely to save either the president or the Republicans from continued political fallout for taking the country near the brink of financial calamity. While the 1996 budget deal made winners out of President Clinton and the Republicans,...

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The Odds on Obama

(980) Comments | Posted April 4, 2011 | 5:52 PM

Only two Democrats in the last 90 years have been reelected to a second term -- Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. The rest of the Democrats have seen their presidencies cut short, and so the historical odds of Obama winning a second term are at first glance not encouraging. But...

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Constitutional Amendment on Internet Freedom

(140) Comments | Posted March 2, 2011 | 4:08 PM

It's time we added the first 21st Century amendment to the Constitution -- an amendment that parallels the First Amendment but explicitly prohibits the government from ever shutting down the Internet. Freedom of the Internet in today's world is just as important as freedom of the press, religion or speech....

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State of the Union: Did Obama Win His Future?

(372) Comments | Posted January 25, 2011 | 11:30 PM

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama certainly reached out to the Republicans, praised American innovation and know-how, and for the most part avoided lightning rod issues on either side. It was a huge leap forward for a president who was close to life support just a few...

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Democrats Need to Back Obama

(1628) Comments | Posted December 10, 2010 | 2:20 PM

Democrats should move quickly to back the president on the tax bill or risk turning themselves into a minority party in Congress for a long time to come. By becoming reverse tax protesters (chanting "raise taxes"), the liberals are sending out all the wrong messages to a country that overwhelmingly...

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Strategy Corner: Exit Polls Show the Voters Just Want Obama Back in the Center and on the Economy

(1074) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 12:24 AM

Without doubt the Tea Party will be rejoicing at the midterm results and laying down ultimatums to the Republican Party to steer to the right, and the Republican Party, having embraced the Tea party, will be hard pressed to say "no" to the new right wing in America.

Poll after...

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Who Will Win the Midterms?

(376) Comments | Posted October 18, 2010 | 1:29 PM

As we head into the midterms it is increasingly clear that there will be no winners on election night given the massive discontent of the electorate almost across the board. Even if the Republicans have a good night, it will not be an endorsement of the Tea Party any more...

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Poll Shows People Support Checks and Balances, But Want More Limits on Supreme Court Justices

(1505) Comments | Posted July 9, 2010 | 11:57 AM

Despite their support of checks and balances and desire for minimal changes in the Constitution, the American public favors a series of populist changes in our system of government, according to the results of a poll on the US Constitution prepared by Penn Schoen Berland for the Aspen Institute and...

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Strategy Corner: Time for Obama to Lift the BP Fog With a New Strategy

(98) Comments | Posted June 1, 2010 | 3:49 PM

President Obama's political career and clout have never been in a more perilous state than this week as he faces mounting crises, plummeting poll numbers, and solutions that remain just out of reach.

The list of problems has become almost endless -- the BP spill is becoming Obama's hostage crisis,...

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Strategy Corner: Time for a New Kind of Bold from President Obama

(442) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 5:07 PM

The prediction that passage of health care followed by an impressive agenda of global nuclear and Wall Street regulatory reform would lift up the administration by showing aggressive leadership seems to be one of those strategies that looks good on paper but so far has not worked in practice.


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Strategy Corner: The Health Care Jam

(277) Comments | Posted March 5, 2010 | 4:02 PM

The idea of jamming major legislation through Congress usually crops up whenever there's serious popular desire for change, and equally serious Congressional resistance. In the past, reconciliation has typically only ever made it to the table when one factor of Congress -- at the behest of special interests -- has...

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State of the Union Scorecard

(64) Comments | Posted January 26, 2010 | 11:06 PM

It's the Super Bowl of politics - the SOTU is watched in some years by up to 60 million people, and it's usually the President's best opportunity to address the country, tell them his plan, and bolster his approval.

What could have been a rather sleepy affair has taken on...

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Strategy Corner: Stopping the Republican Comeback (Deja Vu All Over Again)

(590) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 8:26 AM

Once again an initially popular Democratic president tries to pass healthcare reform, raise taxes on the wealthy and expand domestic spending. And once again the voters send a sharp signal that they want him to chart a more centrist course. As Yogi Berra said "It's déjà vu all over again."

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