The Penn Memos: Advocate Brutally Negative Campaign Against Obama
John Green at The Atlantic has released internal campaign memos from the Hillary Clinton campaign that confirm what many of us have been saying all along: the Clinton campaign laid out a vicious negative campaign against Barack Obama. If those negative John McCain ads against Obama sound familiar to you, they come from the Hillary Clinton campaign book!
The memos include these revelations from the campaign strategy of Mark Penn, Clinton's campaign manager:
* Penn proposed targeting Obama's lack of American roots -- but also said the campaign could never do this publicly. Early accounts of Green's piece note a key revelation: That in a memo on March 19, 2007, Penn explicitly proposed drawing attention to what he called (with a rather jarring oxymoron) a "very strong weakness" for Obama: "His roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited."
But the memo has something that makes this even better: Penn said they'd never publicly do this. "We are never going to say anything about his background -- we have to show the value of ours," he wrote, adding: "I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values."
* As early as December of 2007, Penn was advocating a brutally negative campaign against Obama and even floated the idea of painting him as completely unelectable, a position the Hillary campaign was unwilling to embrace publicly. In a memo on December 30th 2007, on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Penn wrote that if Obama came out of those contests "riding high," then "we will have to take him down."
One message suggested by Penn: That Obama "took a series of positions that make him unelectable," such as supporting "letting up to twenty-thousand drug dealers out of jail." During a campaign conference call with reporters during the primaries, Penn openly suggested that Obama couldn't win a general election, but the Hillary campaign rapidly distanced itself from Penn's claim. Turns out he was pushing hard for this to be the campaign's position months earlier.
* Penn pressed for aggressive "vetting" of Wright and said that the issue should be raised "without hesitation." As earlier accounts of Green's piece note, in a memo on March 30, 2008, Penn asked: "Won't a single tape of Wright going off on America with Obama sitting there be a game ender?"
In the memo, Penn also wrote that "Obama must be vetted on Wright," adding: "If you believe that serious issues need to be raised then we have to raise them without continual hesitation and we should be pushing the envelope."
You will find these attacks echoed on anti-Obama Hillary Clinton Sites
The Clintonistas celebrate the polls showing a closer than expected race between Obama and John McCain, hoping Obama loses so they can say "told you so". They fail to realize that Obama is doing pretty well considering he has not only been battling McCain and the Republican party, but also the Clinton campaign and the Obama-hating Hillary nuts it spawned.
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