April 7th, 2008
04:03 PM ET
6 years ago

Gergen: Could Penn's resignation give Clinton a boost?

The latest Clinton departure could change the tone of the race.
The latest Clinton departure could change the tone of the race.

If Mark Penn had been a favorite within the Clinton campaign, it is difficult to believe that he would have been forced out over the Colombian affair. Sure, it was a dumb mistake – a “what was he thinking” moment. Still, it was a far cry from what one of Barack Obama’s top advisers did when he met with Canadian officials on NAFTA and his mistake properly set off a mini-firestorm. So, in the ordinary course of things, Mark Penn’s apology and a few days of reassuring labor unions would have been enough to quiet things down – and Penn would still be calling the shots.

But it is apparent that Clinton topsiders detest Mark Penn and hold him uniquely responsible for what has gone wrong in the campaign. When he went down last week, they lunged for the jugular and he couldn’t survive.

What difference will it make in the campaign, if any?

Full story


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Ric

    Funny comments. But realistically, its Democrats for Mc Cain '08.

    April 7, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. Gubby

    Anyway, it seems we need more speeches than solutions. God bless America.

    April 7, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. 4REAL

    Penn is not gone. He still have to do back door deal on trade for Hillary and Bill to keep their money flowing. We are the people of a Perfect Union that is being lied to, trick and mislead by the Clinton's. Bill and HIllary are getting away with a lot of bad tactics that they hope to take to the WH with them if Hillary is elected. I hope that she will not make it because she can't control her campaign and listen to any story someone hands her without checking out the facts. Hillary you dumb and don't know the first thing about competing in the Presidential race. Go join a beauty contest to get some tips.

    Obama 08 for sure.

    April 7, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. David

    He and his company are still advising her. She might get a boost if she actually severs all ties with him. At this point it's just a media play, and hopefully it won't work. He was working for Clinton's campaign and the Columbian's at the same time...very poor move, and just another example of her poor leadership. You are the choices you make and right now she's a poor candidate.

    April 7, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. Jack

    This will definitely give her a boost..... the campaign will have harmony and unity to put out a common message and attack Obama without appearing too negative

    April 7, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. H3 / NC

    bye bye Hillary

    April 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. Hillary

    Say what you want - who cares anyway - Hillary with out a doubt would make the best President. If Obama gets in – it is going to be Americas loss.

    April 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  8. Michael Guinn- Ventura, CA

    I don't see how this could give her a boost since he has been on her Staff for all these months.
    To say this would give her a boost is amazing to me.
    It may boost contributions from her supporters who had enough since to see that Penn was a "conflict waiting to happen" as was so well put on CNN last night.
    I think the way her campaign has been run hurts her. I wish she had done this long ago.
    It's much too late now. Game over. No matter what Wolson comes up with.

    April 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. MP

    This just shows how mismanaged her campaign is. How is she ready on day 1? She has been running her campagn for two years now and its still in the toilet. She had this thing won. She had all the support,(media,super delegates,backers ect.).It was like starting a 100 yard dash from the 50 yard line. How could she be in this position? Please tell me. They blame everyone else for their misstakes. She can not even admit she lied. Bill talking about beating up on a girl? What do you think the rest of the world is going to do? She made some dumb comment about how long it takes to get ready in the morning..why? ..so women would say to themselves."you know what, she is right, we do have it harder" Is that the argument you want the President of the United States of America making when meeting with Russia and China? The whole world knows now she lied about Bosnia, its humilating. Europe knows she lied about Ireland. Ohio knows she lied about Nafta. It goes on and on and on and on...

    April 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Where is the proof that it was Sen. Obama's campaigner who met with the Canadian minister?????????

    Anderson, please do a fact check on this! I am sure it was Hillary's campaigner, maybe even PENN!!!!

    April 7, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. honkey white guy from cali

    how about all that so called charity money they gave away oh yea right they gave it away to there own charity who in turn gave millions away to other charities of the very people endorsing her campaign oh my what a tangled web we weave. lies lies lies and lies!!!! all she is good for more lies.

    Go Obama 08

    April 7, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Carl from Pa

    What kind of dream world are we living in? There is no way at all she could ever catch up in popular vote or delegate count unless the superdelegates all vote for her, thereby negating the importance of an election in the first place. From here on out, this is all a big waste of time and effort. Sure, I'm happy to go out and vote for Obama but I do agree this is definitely "Silly Season."

    April 7, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Gubby

    Finally, we will have only speeches from the Great President OBAMA

    April 7, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. Kevin B. from NYC

    David, David, David. With spin like this, you may get the top spinmaster job in Hillary's campaign. Unfortunately, if we're reading this, we have just a little bit more savy than the Sunday Morning tv folks. Its a big deal, if the head of your campaign is taking the opposite stand from the candidate, especially regarding jobs in states that have been losing jobs. Don't repeat this on Sunday, you'll get laugh out of the studio.

    April 7, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. jimt the man

    i agree with most people here. this penn guy must go.. i mean, what gives him the right to say G>D> America, or Aids was invented by the gov. to kill blacks, or blacks killing blacks is wrong, they are killing the wrong people, or. I guess i could go on, but wait, that wasnt penn, that was baracks spiritual advisor, his uncle, his mentor. oh yea, penn is a bad guy.

    April 7, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. Tex

    David, Penn is still with the campaign. All the much ado about nothing, the smoke and mirrors was to make the labor union members think Hillary fired Penn. That is not true. Penn is still on Hillary's payroll and still an advisor.

    Hillary's lies, lack of character and honesty are causing her to lose this election.

    April 7, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. ben

    Wow! I didn't even make the awaiting moderation! It's alright most of the others have already said what I posted anyway. GO OBAMA

    April 7, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. Ted Canada

    From Canada
    Are you kidding me? Does anyone down there know the difference between Canada and Columbia. Our wages are better than most States and we have some of the strongest unions on the continent. "United Steelworks of America" Canada is an equal partner.
    Check Columbia's record on Unions and minimum wage.

    OHIO and Pennsylvania Union's, the Clinton's would sell you for a dollar then fire you just like they fired their advisor. Don't kid yourselves!

    As a "Canadian Unionist" how can you even compare Canada and Columbia!!!!! Obama you can talk to us any time you want.

    Bush and Clinton when it comes siding with Unions – you would sell your own mother!!!!! and pretend otherwise!

    April 7, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. Mandi Locke

    As if Mark Penn is behind everything that has gone wrong in the Clinton campaign! if only it were that easy! Hillary Clinton just doesn't get it. That is why her campaign is in debt, that is why she is behind in both popular vote and electoral vote and that, my friends, is why she will lose this nomination. Mark Penn is only a small part of that.

    Hillary, it's over! You're making a fool out of yourself!

    April 7, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. Jacob

    you have to fire both liars to get a boost

    April 7, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  21. Michael

    How can a person get a boost after once again proving to the world that she does not know how to surround herself with the right people?

    April 7, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. Peg

    I agree, a smoke screen for sure. He's still there, advising and making his "mark." (Ha) One thing for sure, however, I think she's finally lied enough to make the "end" in sight. I think from here on out, she will slowly decline.

    Hopefully she hasn't done and will not do anymore damage to our party. This idea that we have to let the "people's voices" be heard is a bunch of nonsense. In previous primaries, most voices weren't heard....why do they have to be now?

    Thank God!

    April 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. Michael

    People who say they are going to back McBush if their canidate does not win need to relax a little. Would you really contribute to the mess this country is in..i.e, jobs leaving this country at an alarming rate, people losing their holmes, education sadly lacking behind the rest of the world. Katrina victims still without a place to live two years later, thousands of sons and daughters dying in Iraq. Tax breaks for the richest americans. Thats like cutting off your nose to spite your face. But, if you want, go right ahead. Which ever canidate loses this nomination will not run again in 2012. Why? Because with the way you are acting, who ever wins the democratic nomination will not win the general election. The loss will be blamed on the loser of the democratic race for destroying the party. Think about that very carefully.

    April 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. Mark

    They, Clintons and their long time compatriots, do all sorts of double playing with American people. When they are caught red handed, they say it was a mistake or a lack of judgment. And someone steps aside still playing in the backdoor. But, not being honest to American people is a part of their professionalism.

    I like to ask this simple question to Clintons: "Do your politics really need to be so nasty and dishonest to get to the power?"

    May God forgive Clintons and all their compatriots if they believe in God.

    April 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. Obama Has Substance

    I love your honest views on CNN. In contrast to Wolf Blizster and Lou
    Dobbs you are not bias and you always address both candidates with
    fairness. It is refreshing. The reason why these real issues that are arising from the Hillary campaign is not hurting her is because CNN does not run them over, over and over. To be really honest CNN was instrumental in ensuring that all the following in regards to Obama
    played over and over and over: The Canadian Naffta misspoke, The Rev Wright, the Shame on you Obama. They were debated every hour, and run on the news screen every few minutes over, and over and over again. Cnn the World knows who you want to win this election. You should not use the Power you have to sway voters. Please let the process it course. Please let the people choose who they want to win this election. It is not about you and your fears of a Black candidate becoming President. It is time for a change...

    April 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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