Mark Penn: Unkillable

Pareene · 08/14/08 04:53PM

Good news! You thought the career of Mark Penn, scurrilous bastard Clinton pollster and world's worst PR guru, was finished? You thought he'd never ineptly manage the press strategy of another big Democrat again? Especially after those wonderful, wonderful Clinton campaign memos all got dumped on the Internet this week? The joke, as always, is on you, where "you" means "common sense and the hope that the Democratic party won't once again shoot itself in the foot." If Barack Obama chooses Even Bayh as his running mate (please, no, not The Ethanol Ticket), Penn's back on top! "For years, Penn and his wife, Nancy Jacobson, have been close advisers to Indiana Senator Evan Bayh." He'll lose this one for us yet! We'd be happier with fucking Biden. At least he's poor! [Atlantic, Photo-illustration]

Hillary's flack told Bill Gates not to bother "being human"

Owen Thomas · 08/13/08 11:00AM

Mark Penn, the CEO of Burson-Marsteller, will likely never work in politics again. He's in hot water over his advice to Hillary Clinton. A series of memos obtained by The Atlantic show Penn offering Clinton unsavory advice. (For example: highlighting Barack Obama's childhood abroad as a way of suggesting he was too foreign to be president.) But the fallen flack has a promising career as consigliere to tech CEOs, based on his advice to Bill Gates: "Being human is overrated."

Mark Penn Ages You

Michael Weiss · 07/29/08 02:44PM

The best that can ever be said of the Clinton consultants turned pundits is that they're right except for all the times they're wrong. That's certainly the case with Dick Morris, who previously said a conniving Hillary had the nomination in the bag, then adopted an air of insider omniscience in setting everyone right as to Obama's sure-thing triumph. As for the other chubby triangulator on speed-dial, Mark Penn is wrong even when he's right, and he's hardly ever that. As Hillary's chief political strategist, he thought using the word "cocaine" repeatedly on television by way of denying his camp was trying to portray Obama as a cokehead was subliminally savvy. It was not. He thought focusing on all the big states and ignoring the little ones with caucuses meant an easy glide to the Denver convention. It did not. He thought his own party's primaries allotted state delegates in a winner-take-all-fashion. Alas, they did not. Now Penn's written a piece for Politico in which he claims to have spotted the decisive voter bloc for the '08 showdown. Even if he's right, broadly speaking, he fucks his own thesis into demographic incoherence by sentence two.

Two Big Losers Will Repair Your Image!

Pareene · 07/09/08 12:34PM

Is your brand in crisis? You may need the expert help of mega-PR firm Burson-Marsteller! The firm is run by public relations expert Mark Penn, who recently did a fantastic job selling Hillary Clinton to the nation until he had to quit as her top advisor because his firm met with the Colombian government to represent them on an issue the Clinton campaign had taken the opposite view of. Whoops! Then Hillary lost. So hey, Mark Penn understands why maybe you wouldn't turn to him to manage whatever PR disaster you're undergoing. Which is why he's brought on another superstar from the world of politics: Karen Hughes!

An Idea

Hamilton Nolan · 04/10/08 03:16PM

China needs some serious professional PR help to tidy up their image for the upcoming Olympics. Mark Penn, back to being CEO of PR giant Burson-Marsteller after being dumped as Hillary Clinton's campaign chief, obviously has some time on his hands, and needs to land a big new client. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? The leadership of China and Mark Penn should come together to start a homemade noodle company! What with thousands of years of Chinese expertise in making noodles, and Mark Penn's apparent fondness for eating noodles, it's a natural fit. I'd sure like to see Amnesty International and Harold Ickes try to talk bad about a homemade noodle company.

Roger Stone Loves How His Name Springs Off The Page

Hamilton Nolan · 04/08/08 12:00PM

Roger Stone is not some shady Republican political operative who plants items about his enemies in the press secretly. No, he's a shady political operative that ensures that he gets credit for planting things about his enemies in the press! Stone's latest shady press leak coup: he gave info to columnist Robert Novak about questionable billing practices at the PR firm Burson-Marsteller. Now that Burson CEO Mark Penn has been booted as Hillary Clinton's campaign chief, Stone is being credited as a player! If he had a dollar for every "Roger Stone" Google Alert, he would be a fairly compensated man. [via Alex Balk]

Next For Mark Penn: Copy Editing

Hamilton Nolan · 04/07/08 04:50PM

The good news about Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn being booted from Hillary Clinton's campaign, according to an internal Burson email: "Momentum will only improve with Mark's return to our day-to-day business." Ha. The bad news: they can't spell their own (former) clients' names: "We've all received a good number of inquiries about the news reports related to Mark Penn's work with the Clinton campaign and developments in our relationship with the Columbian [sic] Embassy in Washington, which was until Saturday our client." [WSJ]

Mark Penn: You Fool

Hamilton Nolan · 04/07/08 01:41PM

So Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton's doughy chief strategist, finally got booted from the campaign last weekend. The majority of her campaign team hated him for some time, so his departure will be welcomed by insiders. They felt that his strategy was unsuccessful, and they were right. But the specific reason for Penn's departure was his idiot move of meeting with the Colombian government, in his day job as CEO of massive PR firm Burson-Marsteller, to represent them on the opposite side of an issue from Hillary Clinton, while running her campaign. And you know what? This moment was inevitable. The very idea of having a man simultaneously running a presidential campaign and an international PR firm is stupid, and never should have happened in the first place. You fools!