The return of Mark Penn

The former chief strategist for Hillary Clinton comes out with an Op-Ed identifying the group he believes will be the next "soccer moms."


Alex Koppelman
July 30, 2008 12:26AM (UTC)

Mark Penn has fallen out of favor with just about everyone since his much-maligned strategy for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign proved not to be a winner. But on Tuesday, he was back expounding on his theories about the election, which he wrote up in an Op-Ed for the Politico.

In his article, Penn argues:

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Despite all the talk about this election being driven by the youth vote, America as a nation has never been older and the power of the senior vote has never been greater.

In the relentless quest to find the soccer moms of this election, perhaps the answer will be found in the "active granny" vote -- empty-nesters who have found a new freedom in their lives after the kids have left and who look at the world very differently than do their kids graduating college.

Now, if I were a cynical person -- and I am -- I might suggest that this is a somewhat self-serving way of looking at this, since under Penn Clinton's base was this demographic, while Barack Obama is famously supported by the youth vote.

Unsurprisingly, the reaction to Penn's piece has not been favorable. Filling in for Andrew Sullivan, Patrick Appel titled his post on the article "Self-Parody Watch." And Time's Ana Marie Cox asked, "We can be pretty sure he's just making this stuff [up] now, right?"


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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