WASHINGTON: Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn, the former chief strategist for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, concludes in a New York Times Op-Ed published in Sunday's paper that money was to blame for Clinton's failed bid.
Describing the “conventional criticisms” of the Clinton campaign as centering on her lack of “message,” Penn argues that Clinton in fact was widely recognized as a “strong commander in chief” and proponent for the US economy and America's underclass.
“Nothing [the Clintons] said was ever intended to divide the country by race,” Penn adds, apparently referring in part to the comparison former President Bill Clinton made between Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Penn concedes that the campaign could have done many things differently, including challenging Obama “more directly and much earlier” and running a “different kind of operations to win caucuses and to retain the support of superdelegates.”
But while he concludes that “sometimes your opponent just runs a good campaign,” Penn claims that more money might have led to Clinton's victory.
“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,” Penn writes.
A Burson representative said that the NYT requested Penn to write the Op-Ed and that Penn does not plan any other "major" comment on the Clinton campaign at this time.