"Penn should have been let go"

The Washington Post details further recriminations within Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Published March 6, 2008 3:21PM (EST)

If an article in Thursday's Washington Post is any indication, then the honeymoon period for Hillary Clinton after her victories Tuesday will be short, if it hasn't ended already. The Post brings further details of infighting within the Clinton campaign, centered as usual around chief strategist Mark Penn, who has been a lightning rod for criticism.

Unnamed Clinton advisors blame Penn for being inflexible in his strategy and messaging, the Post says. The paper quotes "a Clinton White House veteran close to the campaign" as saying, "I think about all camps think it's Mark's fault. I don't think there is a Mark camp." Another unnamed advisor is quoted saying, "Penn should have been let go. He failed the campaign in developing a message and evolving the message as things changed."

Some of the fight seems to be about credit for Clinton's latest victories, and, the Post says, about denying Penn credit for those victories. Penn himself recently tried to avoid any blame, telling the Los Angeles Times, "I have had no say or involvement in four key areas -- the financial budget and resource allocation, political or organizational sides."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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