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Mark Penn On Being Human

You've probably already seen this Mark Penn piece in the New York Observer, but if not, it's worth a read. This passage in particular is kind of amusing:

A source in the campaign, speaking on background, said that Mr. Penn’s philosophy was perfectly represented by a comment he made during one of Mrs. Clinton’s debate preps at campaign headquarters in early winter. About 15 staffers were in a room with Mrs. Clinton discussing how she could best respond to a particular line of attack. One of the aides, the source recalled, had an idea.

“I think you need to show a little bit of humanity,” said the aide.

Mr. Penn interjected. “Oh, come on, being human is overrated.”

“Everyone laughed and it broke the tension, and even he had a smile on his face,” said the source. “But it said a lot because it seemed to really encapsulate a viewpoint.”

Mr. Penn, who recalled the comment as self-deprecating, was unrepentant about the campaign he had run, asserting that to the extent that his message was heeded, it was successful.

--Noam Scheiber