Saturday, March 01, 2008

Harold Ickes thinks Mark Penn is a Dick (Morris)

While I've hardly been an enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Clinton's candidacy, I do think she's more than qualified and will certainly support her should she snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. And for the record I'll support Barack Obama if he gets the nomination.

What interests me is the finger pointing going on even now in the Clinton Camp. Harold Ickes, a generally left leaning insider (labeled "Hillary's Hammer" by a Politico piece from this summer) that is not without his own controversies such as the data-mining head bumping he had with Dr. Dean, has recently blasted Mark Penn's work for Hillary. The polling and/or consulting work plus basic public relations services provided by Mark Penn (I just learned he is married to Third Way ... hardly for Progressives I'd offer .... and Senator Evan Bayh .... a reliable Bu$h Dog centrist weenie ... Senior Advisor Nancy Johnson) can be traced back to that damned Dick Morris.

These DLC Republican Lite types surely frustrate me. I mentioned that I was reading Robert Reich's Trapped in the Cabinet and now that I've completed I'm even more frustrated with The Clenis and his team's tendency towards triangulation. Yes, this Progressive did fear Hillary Clinton's "accommodation" and this remains true for an Obama administration. The reality is I fear that the White House is a long ways from being occupied by a true Progressive. We simply must shift our nation back from being dominated by the Corporatists and other well-financed and organized special interests.

Movement Conservatives will likely continue to dominate the GOP, perhaps even more so if and when St. John loses from what they'll claim is due to his not being conservative enough. If the GOP doesn't explode, and I doubt they will, then they aren't going to work with any effort to accommodate and find that elusive "middle ground". I suggest to not put much hope there. Being strong and bold as we advance the interests of the poor and middle class, while also challenging the false choices presented by the so called "values voters" such as the Dobsonites, is where I want this next administration to be centered.

Finally, if we Progressives can get the larger Democratic Party and our candidates to appreciate the failures of "centrism" then perhaps that will be a lesson worth learning, even for Senator Clinton. If Hillary Clinton indeed loses the nomination then she'll remain in the Senate and can be a solid voice for a better future. I've long thought she was more cerebral plus left leaning than Bill Clinton so she's needed. With a little luck Congress will be better situated than what Bill Clinton faced and this next President might be able to get a little done. We surely can't wait much longer can we? John Gunn

UPDATE ~ I found this Anne Kornblut piece in the WaPo that I think is terrific in understanding Mark Penn and his type. He may indeed be "brilliant, intense, shrewd and insightful" yet Penn planned for a coronation but got into a campaign. You simply can't effectively lead with focus groups and polling as your foundation.

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