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Penn Is Mightier?

A Times article featuring any number of ominous signs for Hillary Clinton also contains another bit of not-at-all-reassuring spin from pollster/strategist Mark Penn:

"Senator Obama has in fact never had a serious Republican challenger."

I'm sorry, you mean a challenger like Rick Lazio? The incumbent Republican Senator? The beloved, curmudgeonly longtime House member? The last-minute GOP placeholder after Rudy bowed out, who hasn't won (or run for) office since? Yeah, that was a remarkable upset.

Or maybe Penn means, umm--oh you know who I mean, that Yonkers guy in waste management who talked about plastic surgery and "a Chinaman's chance"? Thank goodness Clinton spent tens of millions of dollars running up the score against him and derailing his chances of using the Senate as a springboard to the GOP presidential nomination.

Or do Bob Dole and George H. W. Bush now count as Hillary Clinton victories?

I wish someone had told me it was this easy to make $4 million a year.

--Christopher Orr