APRIL 07, 2008
Accentuating its state of disarray, Hillary Clinton’s ailing presidential campaign experienced the second shakeup in two months with the removal its chief strategist for secretly collaborating with a foreign government to promote a trade pact strongly opposed by the New York senator.
Longtime Clinton friend and confidante Mark Penn was demoted from his prominent position after it was disclosed that he met with Colombian government officials to help promote a trade pact among U.S. lawmakers that is fiercely opposed by labor unions and the former First Lady.
Penn happens to be the chief executive of a giant public relations firm (Burson-Marsteller) that got paid $300,000 by Colombia’s government to lobby the U.S. Congress to pass the controversial Colombian Free Trade agreement. All the while, his boss the Democratic presidential candidate tours the nation blasting the proposed trade agreement and assuring that she will vote against it in the Senate.
Penn recently admitted that the meeting was indeed an “error in judgment” and Colombian officials responded by firing his public relations firm, saying that apologizing for meeting with its representatives showed a “lack of respect” for the country. Not only did Penn lose the big contract, he alienated both Bill and Hillary Clinton who were part of his inner circle. Penn steered Bill’s reelection campaign in 1996 and went on to become a top pollster and campaign message guru for Hillary’s 2000 Senate run.
His departure marks the second Clinton presidential campaign shakeup in as many months. In February Clinton replaced her prized campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, with Maggie Williams who had been her White House chief of staff as First Lady. The move replaced a self-described “Latina Queen” and renowned open borders activist with a loyal confidante who covered up a suspicious death (White House lawyer and Clinton pal Vince Foster) and orchestrated a fundraising scandal involving a Chinese lobbyist during the Clinton White House years.
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