Mark Penn’s Granny Brigade

Wed, July 30, 2008

Moms & Politics


Now I know why Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic primary race — Mark Penn.

He is the reason (OK, one of the reasons) I suspected all along, but now I am sure that the man who claims he knows all about “Microtrends” is just stupidly tone deaf, especially when it comes to women voters.

In a piece for the Politico, he claims to have identified, and labeled, the significant voting block this year — bye-bye soccer moms, hello “Active Grannies!”

I understand that women aged 60+ might be a key demographic to winning the presidential election in November, especially since so many of them supported Hillary Clinton. But when a high-level, key campaign adviser is so clueless to the fact that even if they are grandmothers, 60+ women don’t want to be called “grannies” by people like him, then there is a political chip missing that is required to be a winner.

Now, you may be thinking that maybe I’m a bit testy because I’m closer to those “grannies” in age than I am to those new young whipper-snappers who put Barack Obama into the Democratic presidential nomination. Sure, I’d rather not be pushing the half-century mark, but that’s not really it.

I’m just sad that Hillary allowed Mark Penn to run her campaign into the ground with her consent and without seeing that Penn needs a tune up when it comes to women voters.

My advice for Democrats from here on out? There are two people you should NOT be taking any advice from — Bob Shrum and, now, Mark Penn. Because if you think it’s a good thing to be calling politically active women the age of Gloria Steinem “grannies,” maybe you should talk to my Democatic mom. She has four grand-kids, but I can guarantee you, you don’t want to be calling her a “granny” to her face.

She can take you out and it won’t be pretty.

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3 Responses to “Mark Penn’s Granny Brigade”

  1. Laura Says:

    well i can peak as a grandmother….i prefer not to be referred to as “granny”. my 7 week old grand girl and i mutually decided that i should be called gramz…she is so gifted!
    anyway, i really dislike any labels politicos and media types assign us…granny brigade, soccer moms or what have you. why can’t we just be women who vote?

  2. Shonda Little Says:

    You see, when I am a grandmother, I won’t mind be called a granny…by my grandchildren. However, when my entire demographic is being addressed with that label, including millions of women who never had children, much less grandchildren, feels a little bit like we are being soft balled. Even with a female candidate, advisers and campaign managers have to can’t degrade the most passionate base of their support.
    Another reason Hillary lost was lack of structure and rank within her campaign. While her inflated group bickered over what they should or should not do or should or should not spend money on, Barack’s simple posse continued to execute the plan they masterminded last summer when hopes of a nomination seemed quite dismal, at best.
    Fortunately, the best example of a candidate who cannot seem to get his climber staff in line is John McCain. Not even a close look at this fatal 2000 bid makes this apparent and it seems that this go ’round is just as bad. Even with the shake-ups of staff, their months of single-issue badgering of Barack about not visiting the Middle East only to a schizophrenia response to the before mentioned trip by declaring it a publicity stunt. Truthfully, I think this team will hinder McCain’s success as much as his poor, Bush hand-me-down policies.

  3. Daphne Says:

    hmm, the granny thing doesn’t get under my skin. What would be better, “mature go getters?” I wanted Penn off the Clinton campaign a long time ago and once wrote that in a note with a contribution. A someone who worked her one of her caucuses Obama’s people were crazy organized. It was disheartning.


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