Straight from the Horse's...Well, somewhere on the horse

Rick Moran
Mark Penn is generally credited with botching a sure thing.

He was one of Hillary Clinton's chief consultants, the architect of her drive for the White House. As chief strategist, it was his job to come up with the plan that would take Hillary Clinton's gigantic fund raising ability and translate that into a winning campaign.

To say he messed up would be an understatement. The Clinton campaign may go down in history as the most mismanaged national campaign in history.

But don't tell that to Penn. He's too busy blaming others for his lack of foresight in dismissing caucus states and not having an alternate plan when it became clear that Hillary wouldn't wrap up the nomination on Super Tuesday:

Are there a lot of other things the campaign could have done differently? Of course. We should have taken on Mr. Obama more directly and much earlier, and we needed a different kind of operation to win caucuses and to retain the support of superdelegates. From more aggressively courting young people earlier to mobilizing the full power of women, there are things that could have been done differently.

While everyone loves to talk about the message, campaigns are equally about money and organization. Having raised more than $100 million in 2007, the Clinton campaign found itself without adequate money at the beginning of 2008, and without organizations in a lot of states as a result. Given her successes in high-turnout primary elections and defeats in low-turnout caucuses, that simple fact may just have had a lot more to do with who won than anyone imagines.

And sometimes your opponent just runs a good campaign.

Obama should have been blown out of the box. The reason he wasn't can be laid at Penn's feet. He tries to take on the various criticisms of the campaign but all he does is highlight his own incompetence.

Money would not have been as much of a problem if Penn had gamed out scenarios that went beyond Super Tuesday. Up until then, Clinton was still out raising Obama and the money crunch didn't really occur until March after the Ohio and Texas primaries. It seems incredible at this distance that the campaign came as close as it did to Obama.

That speaks well for Mrs. Clinton's abilities to overcome the shortcomings of her staff. But in the end, it made all the difference in the world. Obama was better organized, better funded, and had a better plan.

And a better strategist.
Mark Penn is generally credited with botching a sure thing.

He was one of Hillary Clinton's chief consultants, the architect of her drive for the White House. As chief strategist, it was his job to come up with the plan that would take Hillary Clinton's gigantic fund raising ability and translate that into a winning campaign.

To say he messed up would be an understatement. The Clinton campaign may go down in history as the most mismanaged national campaign in history.

But don't tell that to Penn. He's too busy blaming others for his lack of foresight in dismissing caucus states and not having an alternate plan when it became clear that Hillary wouldn't wrap up the nomination on Super Tuesday:

Are there a lot of other things the campaign could have done differently? Of course. We should have taken on Mr. Obama more directly and much earlier, and we needed a different kind of operation to win caucuses and to retain the support of superdelegates. From more aggressively courting young people earlier to mobilizing the full power of women, there are things that could have been done differently.

While everyone loves to talk about the message, campaigns are equally about money and organization. Having raised more than $100 million in 2007, the Clinton campaign found itself without adequate money at the beginning of 2008, and without organizations in a lot of states as a result. Given her successes in high-turnout primary elections and defeats in low-turnout caucuses, that simple fact may just have had a lot more to do with who won than anyone imagines.

And sometimes your opponent just runs a good campaign.

Obama should have been blown out of the box. The reason he wasn't can be laid at Penn's feet. He tries to take on the various criticisms of the campaign but all he does is highlight his own incompetence.

Money would not have been as much of a problem if Penn had gamed out scenarios that went beyond Super Tuesday. Up until then, Clinton was still out raising Obama and the money crunch didn't really occur until March after the Ohio and Texas primaries. It seems incredible at this distance that the campaign came as close as it did to Obama.

That speaks well for Mrs. Clinton's abilities to overcome the shortcomings of her staff. But in the end, it made all the difference in the world. Obama was better organized, better funded, and had a better plan.

And a better strategist.