Push me, pull me…
Sen. Hillary Clinton "has publicly disdained going negative on fellow Democrats, but her pollster is apparently probing primary opponents' vulnerabilities in calls to voters in New Hampshire and Iowa," Newsday reports.Whether Penn's work fits the technical definition of a push poll (the major argument against the label seems to be that the Clinton campaign hasn't spread its smears widely enough to qualify) is largely irrelevant to me. Message testing is hardly a decent rationale. Attacking Senator Obama for voting to provide necessary resources to troops in the field or John Edwards over his personal wealth and expensive haircut are not fit messages for any Democratic campaign, regardless of how they may poll.
"A field office working for Clinton pollster Mark Penn has been testing Democrats' responses to attacks on John Edwards and Barack Obama, according to three voters who say they received calls in recent weeks."
It may be just what you get when you enlist a union-busting pollster as a top advisor, though. There's a graceful way out of this for Senator Clinton. Just one.
No denials, please, or apologies.
Fire Mark Penn.