The question for someone considering whether or not to support Clinton in 2016 is, will a Clinton 2016 campaign pass the Mark Penn Test? The Mark Penn Test, which I just invented, determines whether or not a person should be trusted with the presidency, based solely on one criterion: Whether or not they pay Mark Penn to do anything for their campaign. Paying Mark Penn means you’ve failed the Mark Penn Test.
And failing it is an expensive one, above and beyond giving away the White House in 2008:
Fired, but still well compensated. Since Clinton’s 2008 campaign ended, she has milked her donors — and Obama supporters — for millions of dollars to pay off her campaign’s debt. $5.4 million of the debt — all of it, that is — was owed to Mark Penn’s firm Penn, Schoen & Berland. Anyone donating money to Clinton since 2008 has essentially been paying off the man who did more than anyone outside the Obama campaign to prevent her from becoming president. The debt was only just paid off in full in January, just as Clinton left the State Department and shortly before the new pro-Clinton SuperPAC began operating.
Hillary Clinton blew the Democratic nomination in 2008 because she learned exactly the wrong lesson from the 1996 election. The real lesson was “fundamentals are so important that a relatively popular peacetime incumbent can win fairly comfortably even if he turns his campaign over to profit-seeking utter dumbshits like Mark Penn and Dick Morris.” Alas, the lesson that both the Clintons and too many members of the media seemed to learn was “Mark Penn and Dick Morris are political supergenuises. Let’s throw another pander to lacrosse security 12-burner grill no Dijon mustard moms.” To paraphrase Bill James, sometimes you eventually pay a price for believing things that aren’t true.