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HIllary Clinton's complex 'team'

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Election 2008
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Posted April 8, 2008 7:04 AM
The Swamp

posted by John Riley

If the Mark Penn story wasn't mostly inside baseball, it would be a pretty big mess at this point.

Sunday, the Clinton campaign announced that Penn was giving up his job as chief strategist for the campaign, because Hillary opposes a trade deal with Colombia while Penn was working for Colombia on the same deal, meeting with the ambassador last week to strategize on how to get the deal passed in his capacity as chairman of Burson-Marsteller.

Already fired by Colombia over the conflict, the Clinton release said he had decided to step down from his campaign post, but sources said he had been pushed. And it made sense -- because the strategy devised by Hillary and Penn hasn't exactly worked well, and having a political aide who was trying to get a deal passed with an anti-union regime didn't seem like a great way to secure blue-collar votes in Pennsylvania.

In 24 hours, however, two things complicate the narrative:

First, a report that in fact -- announcement notwithstanding -- Penn continues to serve as a "key" campaign staffer, participating today in daily message calls and debate preparation calls. From Atlantic political correspondent Marc Ambinder: "Mr. Penn 'is still going to be very much involved,' a senior campaign official said."

And, later, a report in Politico that one of Penn's replacements -- Hillary spokesman Howard Wolfson -- retains an equity interest in the Glover Park Group, a DC PR firm that "signed a $40,000 per month contract with the government of Colombia in April of 2007 to promote the very agreement that Clinton now rails against on the presidential campaign trail." His interest is valued at $500,000 to $1 million.

There's nothing wrong with that. DC operatives have to make their money. It's hardly news that they're a mercenary class, not always true believers. It's kind of understood that if you're going to be a player, you're going to have some smelly involvements. And, arguably, passively benefiting from work for Colombia is different from actively advocating for it. But, combined with Penn's continued important role at the campaign, it raises questions about the real reasons behind his public demotion.

Apparently, Clinton doesn't feel any deep discomfort with aides making money off of advocacy for a Colombian trade deal while, in Hillary's words today, "violence against trade unionists continues and the perpetrators are not brought to justice." She isn't taking a stand against conflicts between her positions and her advisors' clients. There's no principle here.

Instead, the whole demotion seems to have been completely for appearances sake -- it was embarrassing that Penn was doing it so openly, on an issue moving to the front burner, and got caught. Or, maybe Colombia had nothing to do with it. Maybe it was just an excuse for demoting Penn because the Clintons think it's time to try out some new strategies.

John Riley writes for Spin Cycle, Newsday's political blog

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Comments

typical clinton twist


typical clinton twist


Voters in Pennsylvania should take note: you are being duped by the Hillary Clinton Campaign, and this con game is being facilitated by Ed Rendell, your Governor.

The fact, that two of Hillary Clinton's most senior campaign advisers, also work for lobbying firms that are promoting Free Trade with Colombia, with all Colombia's terrible anti-labor laws and practices, should serve as an insight into the type of corrupt and "government-as-usually", that the Hillary Clinton administration would be, if you vote her into office.

I hope voters in your state would wake up and smell what Hillary Clinton is concocting, as she campaigns in your state, to pull the wool over your eyes. I encourage you not to vote for Hillary Clinton's shell game. She has played this game, before on voters in Ohio and Texas, and those voters who voted for her, before the recent revelation and not knowing that Hillary Clinton was a very strong advocate for NAFTA, contrary to what she was telling them on the campaign trail, feel used and stupid.

Hillary Clinton, just cannot be trusted. She is a habitual and congenital liar, and cannot stop lying, to get your votes.


Has the Clinton campaign, even for just one moment, ever considered actually playing straight with the American voting public on an issue? Do they realize how much the perception of their "say anything, do anything" attitude is costing them? Just more lies from people who apparently don't know how to stop telling them.


Hillary

"isn't taking a stand against conflicts between her positions and her advisors' clients.

There's no principle here."

(that sums it up)


Obama is our Savior. Barak and Reverend Wright are Right, God D*** america. Now is the time to rally around Barak and Michelle and make them proud! No more so called elections where typical white people vote! And news flash america, Barak is right, your typical white american is a racist! Obama will apologize to our Muslim brothers for arrogant american policies of hate and slavery. Only Obama can forgive an evil nation founded on slavery. We gave cash payments to those Japanese who survived our uprovoked and vicious attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Reparations now for all Africans!


Ignatius- That's what they do. They look you in the eye and say words you want to hear. They say those words with conviction, as if they really mean them. 10 minutes later, they are saying the opposite thing to someone else with the same conviction. They do it all the time. Why do they do it? The results of their tax returns ought to be a clue. Now you know why they are campaigning so hard. This is only about you to the extent they can play with your mind. What is the truth? Well, It all depends on what the meaning of the word "is" "is".


Hillary,

It is 3am ... do you know where your campaign is (and has been?)?


I believe you mean to say conflict of interest. That actual PR firms are representing so many gives us an indication of how people and 'countries' have become big business. I can see now why John Edwards' camp took - what seemed to me at the time - such a hostile position on the 'status quo' in Washington - which also included the Clinton camp. I do believe somewhere in the future, not far from now, an ethics committee will have to be established - not unlike the Institutional Review Board (IRB) that provides oversight of any research on human subjects to ensure that there are no abuses ... in which case they are looking out for the rights of the individuals under research conditions, I fail to understand how a MARKETING company would look out for the needs and hard won rights of American workers, and the needs and human rights of workers in a fledgling human rights context in foreign countries. But this explains to me - finally - something many of us have not understood: "who are these players who negotiate contracts that make little sense to third world countries?" Because if you didn't know - many of these contracts are tantamount to the type of PREDATORY lending practices that are now being seen with lenders and mortgage companies. Note that the work of Mark Penn is associated with such institutions. Further, the contracts negotiated for NAFTA have had a trend of developing nations reneging on aspects related to third world interests. Joseph Stiglitz worked as Bill Clinton's Chairman for the committee of Economic Advisers itemizes many of the abuses currently experienced by third world countries under NAFTA. He provides conceptual guidelines for thinking about trade and operationalizing agreements within a democratic construct that speaks to the issue of ethics, responsibility ... frankly a conscience. I am having a hard time seeing how a MARKETING firm would look to issues of 'good governance', workers rights, the balance of trade that would serve equity issues for third world countries and both establishing and serving agreement points that could be reasonably met. Why am I thinking that they would lack the background, knowledge, understanding and just simple moral fortitude to represent the United States in sensitive trade agreements in an environment when the global economy is leery of the actions of the US and much of its goodwill has been sunk by the avarice of bounty that could be made from the war in Iraq. A MARKETING firm, representing economic issues ... jeez. This reminds me so much of the 'branding' of the war by quite and established PR firm working for George Bush. The woman in charge ran the advertising campaign for Burger King, and received 'intelligence' every morning for which she would then send out press releases framing HOW the American public should think about the war. I believe that if there are committees investigating what the factors were in getting in to Iraq and problems with NAFTA contracts .. they may need to look closely at these PR companies having access to areas where there is no expertise - like a general physician pretending to be a surgeon. I think you call it malpractice.


Clinton is a foul liar surrounded by foul low toadies.
Yet on the 22nd, her angry PA. supporters will strap on their sensible shoes, drink thier fiber fortified grape kool aid and blindly vote for their candidate-no matter how many times she lies!
Clinton will probably claim she invented Scrapple before the primary just to con a few more "seasoned" voters.


It is ok for the staffers and advisors of political candidates to make money, but why hire those whose views are in direct contridiction to the candidate? Are there no other in the business just as qualified but in harmony with the candidate's beliefs?


Important article. Good warning for the public. Hope this information will be distributed widely. The Clintons are fabulously wealthy. The Clintons have an obsession for power. The Clintons are entirely self-serving. The Clintons are dishonest.


How can voters believe anything Clinton says any more?

Do we trust Clinton when she says she is against NAFTA or do we believe video tape that shows her active role during its inception?

Do we trust Clinton when she says she she was under sniper fire during her trip to Bosnia or do we believe the video tape that proves she was not?

Do we trust Clinton when she says she supports equal rights for all Americans or do we believe she supports remarks made by attack dogs like the former President or Geraldine Ferraro?

Do we trust Clinton when she talks about a pregnant woman who lost her child and died herself or do we believe the doctors that treated the woman who tell quite a different story.


Do we trust Clinton who agreed with the Democratic party's decision regarding Minnesota and Florida's consequences for moving their primary dates or do we believe she has now flip flopped because she needs the votes?

Clinton, in her desperate attempts to be the consumate candidate has mis spoken and outright lied many times during this campaign run and no longer has any credibility when she speaks.

It is time for Clinton to end her seriously flawed campaign based on her failure to be honest with America on so many issues.

Voters and super delegates must realize that Clinton has lost all credibility, and this latest Columbia gate fiasco illustrates her complete lack of honesty and integrity.

Clinton has become what she is running against - the female George Bush.


To Ignatius Anyanwu: Repeating lies doesn't make them the truth. David Gergen was there as were others and Hillary Clinton wasn't a strong supporter of NAFTA.

It's amazing how Obama supporters can wave the banner of truthfulness when they and he continue to mock the truth with misstatements. John McCain points to Obama's continued misquoting of McCain regarding the 100 years of war in Iraq, but Obama continues with his statements. Obviously, the truth gets in the way of the campaign pitch, which is to put people into an emotional froth where they disregard logic and facts. The continued use of flyers with false information about Hillary's health care proposals is a sign of the corruptness of the Obama campaign.

Speaking about corruptness, how about Obama's "Democrat for a Day" campaign, which he started early in 2007 and which violates laws in some states such as in Ohio. Can he win the general election without being able to count on the Republicans who will return to the fold in November? Hillary Clinton has the majority of the vote of Democrats... but let's continue to pretend that Obama best represents Democrats. Pretending is such a key thing for Obama supporters.

Also, what about Rezko and his corruption? If Rezko were a pal of Hillary's would her campaign even have lasted this long? Obama has been given a free pass and it's beyond belief that Obama supporters don't understand that Rezko paid off Obama with the house deal and over $250,00 in campaign contributions.

What about pretending to not know what Reverend Wright was saying in his sermons over a 20-year period! Did Obama just pretend to attend church to invent a Christian background for himself or did he attend, in which case he would know what the pastor was saying? Oh yes, we should ignore the 30-second snippets that identified what the pastor was saying, but any 5 seconds of Hillary Clinton misspeaking, by all means, let's go for her throat. Oh yes, to Obama supporters, it's now perfectly okay to say GD America... Truthfulness, fairness.. Not something that can be said about the Obama campaign or a number of his supporters.

I pity Obama supporters who have bought into the idea that Obama represents something new and better... Corrupt politics is not new. It's ugly, and supporters who continue to pass on lies should ask themselves whether this type of politics is what they want for our country.


wOW!! Mr. Penn still getting paid by the blue-collar donations given to Mrs. Clinton's campaign. What a spit on the face that must be...paying the guy who was trying to outsource your job. It seems Mr. Wolfson is on the same boat.


It is ok for the staffers and advisors of political candidates to make money, but why hire those whose views are in direct contridiction to the candidate? Are there no other in the business just as qualified but in harmony with the candidate's beliefs?


Take time to Google this:
"Bill Clinton and Clinton".
Look for this under Google's news archives for 1993-present.
Some will be amazed others will be astounded!!! Bill Clinton's position is the steam ththat rolls the locomotive in this trainwreck. He was honored in New York in 1997 by the Colombian government with an award, "Passion for colmbia" since he is a living and breathing promoter of the country. The only reason Hillary is against it is because she didnt want to be caught with her hand in the cookie jar.


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