Thursday, May 08, 2008

Why did Karen Tumulty Grant Harold Ickes anonymity for this one ?
Why did he ask for anonymity ?

Do they think that anyone won't guess that the Penn hating Clinton advisor who knows how Harold Ickes felt when Penn revealed his utter ignorance is Harold Ickes ?

There is another source whose anonymity is protected by the fact that so many Clinton staffers loath Mark Penn.

Karen Tumulty via David Kurtz

Clinton picked people for her team primarily for their loyalty to her, instead of their mastery of the game. That became abundantly clear in a strategy session last year, according to two people who were there. As aides looked over the campaign calendar, chief strategist Mark Penn confidently predicted that an early win in California would put her over the top because she would pick up all the state's 370 delegates. It sounded smart, but as every high school civics student now knows, Penn was wrong: Democrats, unlike the Republicans, apportion their delegates according to vote totals, rather than allowing any state to award them winner-take-all. Sitting nearby, veteran Democratic insider Harold M. Ickes, who had helped write those rules, was horrified — and let Penn know it. "How can it possibly be," Ickes asked, "that the much vaunted chief strategist doesn't understand proportional allocation?" And yet the strategy remained the same, with the campaign making its bet on big-state victories. Even now, it can seem as if they don't get it. Both Bill and Hillary have noted plaintively that if Democrats had the same winner-take-all rules as Republicans, she'd be the nominee.

Doesn't look like the people picked for loyalty to Clinton were loyal either. Here I think there is a habitual miss-use of the word "loyalty." It is always presented as the one alternative attractive feature other than ability (or basic minimal competence or whatever). I think "loyalty to her" means "flattery of her" and "familiarity to her". Of course this misuse is more extreme in the case of "loyalty to Bush," but the horrifying thing about the paragraph is not that it shows (again) that Penn is a buffoon, but that it makes the Clintons sound like Bush, resolutely sticking with the strategy in spite of inconvenient facts which are known to all non idiots and most idiots.

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