Mark Penn, the CEO of the global PR firm Burson-Marsteller, recently spoke at a corporate conference in the UK promoting his book Microtrends. Journalist Cole Moreton interviewed Penn, starting with a blunt question on his role as "chief strategist" for Hillary Clinton's failed Presidential nomination bid: "Mr Penn, you blew it, didn't you? Were you so interested in microtrends that you completely missed the huge desire for change?" Penn responded, defensively, "Well, no, I think that, you know, I think ... the book is really a non-political book." Penn even denied that an infamous internal memo portrayed Barack Obama as unelectable. "Yes it does, if the facsimile published by Atlantic Monthly magazine is correct. The great communicator appears thrown," wrote Moreton. Penn's explanation: "Those memos, right, that came out, were really ... er, were really, I think, show you, you know, just a piece, because ... a small part, a piece of how we were looking to, I think, set up or solve the fact that he was a very strong candidate."
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