In other Penn news, the Guardian's Oliver Burkeman writes a first-person article about how he met with Penn, ostensibly to talk about Penn's book Microtrends,
but ultimately ends up talking about the Clinton campaign, or so the deck says -As Hillary Clinton's doomed presidential bid draws to a painful close, one man has been cast as the scapegoat. In his first interview, Mark Penn, the candidate's former chief strategist, talks to Oliver Burkeman about what went wrong
That's not really true, but it is an interesting read. Some snippets:
"Now, my understanding is that this interview is for the paperback edition of Microtrends," Penn begins, referring to his book, a work of popular sociology. "I think I've made it clear that I'm not doing on-the-record interviews about the campaign." Nobody told me about any restrictions on what we could talk about, I reply.
But she's not going to win. "Well, you know, when the campaign's over, either successfully or not, we'll talk about that." I'm pretty sure I'm being filed away as a member of the "impressionable elites", a microtrend Penn identifies whereby working-class voters get ever more adept at making rational choices based on data, while only the more privileged - people who aren't "living through the difficulties with healthcare, and the economy, and the mortgage, and the job loss" - can afford to indulge in frivolous chatter about hope and change. Naturally, from Penn's perspective, this includes many journalists.
Does he wish he'd taken a sabbatical from lobbying? Penn's answer is the closest he comes to expressing any regrets about his campaign work. "I think that we - you know, with the benefit of hindsight, we might have done things somewhat differently. I'll spend some time analysing that." He won't quite admit to having any regrets about the campaign as a whole, though. "In these races, if you win you all win, and if you lose you all lose. You have to take your share of the responsibility. There is always, in everything, something that could have been done differently."