Sunday, April 06, 2008

Axelrod and Penn

Yesterday's resignation of Clinton's chief strategist Mark Penn should raise questions as to what kind of activities of those who do polling are compatible with their polling work and which are the ones that create conflict of interest. I hope that this discussin will take place.

An interesting piece on Axelrod and Penn (chief strategists of Obama and Clinton), appeared on March 16 in the NYT.

...Axelrod's essential insight — the idea that has made him successful where others might have failed — is that the modern campaign really isn't about the policy arcana or the candidate's record; it's about a more visceral, more personal narrative.

Mr. Penn, on the other hand, is a pollster, and pollsters tend to look at campaigns as a series of dissectible data points that either attract voters or drive them away. Mrs. Clinton's relentless focus on pragmatism and specificity, as well as her willingness to shift slogans, are not simply a result of her own personality but also of Mr. Penn's strategic outlook, which values testable ideas and phrases over more sweeping imagery and themes.

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