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Mark Penn
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Politician
    (January 15, 1954- )
    Born in New York City, New York
    Pollster and campaign consultant
    Democrat
    CEO of the public relations firm Burson-Marstellar
    Advised NYC Mayor Edward Koch and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
    Chief campaign strategist for President Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s
    Advised British Prime Minister Tony Blair during Blair's campaign for a third term (2005)
    Oversaw Hillary Clinton's 2000 US Senate campaign and 2008 Presidential campaign
    Author of 'Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes' (2007)
    Bill Clinton later termed his consulting advice 'malpractice.'
    He was notorious for his overzealous reliance on poll data.
    He is credited with almost single-handedly topedoing Hillary's Presidential prospects in 2008.
    He allegedly thought the primary elections were winner-take-all, prompting fellow Clinton advisor Harold Ickes to incredulously ask, 'How can it possibly be that the much vaunted chief strategist doesn't understand proportional allocation?'
    Some claim that the Birther movement questioning President Obama's citizenship originated from him.
    Leaked memos showed that he intended to bank on Barack Obama's perceived 'otherness' to alienate him from the electorate.
    He came under fire for using the word 'cocaine' on-air during an MSNBC segment, in reference to Barack Obama's experimentation with drugs as college student (Dec. 13, 2007).
    His 'pregnant pause,' during a conference call with John Dickerson, in response to 'what foreign policy moment would you point to in Hillary's career where she's been tested by crisis?' drew further criticism as to his effectiveness as a surrogate (Feb. 29, 2008).
    He was finally fired after he was caught meeting with officials to promote a free trade agreement that Clinton publicly opposed.
    He stubbornly refused to accept any responsibility for Clinton's primary defeat in the waning months of the '08 campaign, instead blaming the campaign's fundraising and budgeting operations.
    His father was a Lithuanian immigrant who died when Mark was ten.
    He helped Menachem Begin to prevail in the 1981 Knesset elections against his challenge from the Israeli Labor Party.
    He was a key strategic advisor to Bill Gates and Microsoft, one who was credited with helping to reclaim the company's reputation as a trusted corporation.
    He coined the voting bloc term 'soccer moms.'
    He saw the Clintons through the 1996 government shutdown and the 1998 Impeachment trial.
    He was set up by MSNBC to appear as though he was suggesting Obama had taken cocaine, when the comment was made in the context of a previous segment about campaign staffer Bill Shaheen's 'drug use' comment.
    He conceived the '3 AM phone call' ad, which emphasized Clinton's experience and was credited with helping the campaign regain momentum with wins in the Ohio and Texas primaries.
    Many believe that, for all his screw-ups in the 2008 campaign, Hillary's husband and his mouth still bore as much - if not more - of the blame for sinking the campaign.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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