Wednesday, August 13, 2008
'You Be Bobby and Obama Will be JFK!' Wrong-Headed "Compare-Alot" Advice From Penn to Hillary Clinton: For This Camelot Scene, You Need a Strategist?
All campaign season, we've been keeping track of "Compare-Alot", the constant (and often apt) comparisons of Sen. Barack Obama's current campaign to John F. Kennedy's ground-breaking win in 1960, setting the stage for the media's constant refrains of Camelot. But the biggest example of Compare-Alot may have come from none other than Hillary braintruster Mark Penn. In the memos that being published by Atlantic magazine, Penn is quoted in a December 2007 memo as telling Sen. Clinton how to view herself compared to Obama. "He may be the JFK in the race, but you are the Bobby," writes Penn. Months later, Clinton dumped Penn, only by then it was too late to beat Obama. So rule Number One emerges for all political strategies relying on "Compare-Alot" -- make sure YOUR client is the one being compared to JFK! Even Bobby Kennedy (circa 1960, that is, as Jack's campaign manager) would tell you that!