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The latent physiognomy

By Owen Paine on Tuesday May 1, 2007 09:13 AM

Photo of Peter Beinart and Mark Penn

Laurel and Hardy? No, it's coyote-liberal Peter Beinart, on the left, and that laundry bag of a fellow on the right is the man behind St Hill. His name is Mark Penn, and he's Ma Clinton's brain bug (if you saw the movie Starship Troopers).

Here's a Washpost profile to savor:


To me it reads like I wrote it myself, in a fit of drunken distemper -- like he's not real at all but a totally unnecessary invention, a product of my fervid loathing of all things bright, prosperous, arrogant, Clintonian top-doggy, cautious, cunning, breezy and zionic.

One quote should suffice to pin this bulky fuzzy moth of a man to the specimen board:

Penn has deep roots in the national security wing of the Democratic Party, .... who saw the merits of invading Iraq before the war began.... Penn gained his foreign policy expertise working on numerous campaigns overseas, especially in Israel. In 1981, he... helped reelect Menachem Begin....

Editor's note:

I can't resist appending some more juicy bits from the Wapo hatchet job:

[Penn] is a wealthy chief executive who heads a giant public relations firm, where he personally hones Microsoft's image in Washington....

Clinton clearly adores him. She describes Penn in her autobiography, "Living History," as brilliant, intense, shrewd and insightful....

In their $5 million Georgetown mansion, Penn and his wife, Nancy Jacobson, a former staff member for Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) who is now a fundraiser with the Clinton campaign, run something of a salon for like-minded friends. They recently threw a book party for Jeffrey Goldberg, the New Yorker writer, to celebrate the release of his memoir on Israel....

His client list includes prominent backers of the Iraq war, particularly Lieberman, whose presidential campaign Penn helped run in 2004, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose campaign he advised when Blair won a historic third term in 2005....

Penn started his polling business with Schoen with the 1977 New York mayoral candidacy of Edward I. Koch....

Best bit of all, though:
Penn, famously rumpled and awkward in public, who picked a fight at a Harvard forum this year when he disrupted a mild exchange between consultants to accuse Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) of equivocating on Iraq. Penn's outburst seemed designed to reach antiwar Democrats by shifting attention away from Clinton's initial support for the war by arguing that she and her main rival have similar approaches to ending it. "When they got to the Senate, Senator Obama's votes were exactly the same" as Clinton's, Penn told the panel. "So let's not try to create false differences....
He sure got that right.

Comments (1)

Are you sure that's Mark Penn? He looks like Timothy Spall on a bad hair day.

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