Politically Savvy: Chief Clinton Strategist Stepping Down

Making the headlines this morning is the untimely resignation of Mark Penn, a chief starategist for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. This comes as a surprise since Penn has been associated with the Clintons for a long time and has been pretty much the chief architect of her entire campaign.

He is now blamed for Senator Clinton's difficult position, in which she is more than 100 delegates behind Senator Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination, and her chances of winning are growing slimmer.

But there's more–news has come out that he lobbied on behalf of a trade treaty with Colombia that Senator Clinton herself opposes, which puts the campaign in a very precarious position. Penn had met with the Colombian ambassador to the United States and the Colombian government had even hired Burson-Marsteller, the international lobbying and public relations firm which Penn is head of, to help secure passage of the proposed treaty with the United States. Senator Clinton strongly opposes this treaty, believing it is unfair to American workers.

In an ending that has no been pretty for Mr. Penn, he was fired immediately by the Clinton campaign, who reported that Senator CLinton was very "disappointed" in him. He then publicly apologized, admitting the meeting had been a mistake, only to turn around and be fired by his client, the Colombian government, for what they viewed as an insult to their government from the lobbying firm.

Many now view this as a "black eye" at a critical time for the Clinton campaign–the timing of this incident could potenitally hurt the struggling Clinton campaign as they attempt their final shot at overtaking Obama in the delegate race–and Clinton aides are struggling to make up for lost ground.

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