That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
Mark Penn’s departure as Hillary Clinton’s chief campaign strategist — he resigned when it was revealed that he was moonlighting for the Colombian government — isn’t really a clean break. On a conference call this morning, Teamsters president James Hoffa, whose union has endorsed Obama, called on the Clinton campaign to sever its ties completely from Penn’s firm.
“I think she has a crediblity problem,” Hoffa said today, adding that Penn still participates in Clinton campaign conference calls. “The smartest thing she can do is jettison him.”
Clinton appeared on CNN’s “American Morning” today and, when asked about Penn, pointed out that Obama had not sacked Austan Goolsbee, his economic adviser who was embroiled in a pre-Ohio primary flap over just what he told a Canadian government official about his candidate’s position on NAFTA.
While denying there was any comparison between Penn and Goolsbee, Hoffa didn’t let Obama off the hook. “I think (Goolsbee) should make a statement, basically come out and say what he believes, what he will advise Barack Obama about, and Barack Obama should make a statement, too. End the mystery.”
Hoffa later clarified his remarks. “To clear up any misunderstanding about my statements, the Obama campaign and Austan Goolsbee have already clarified Professor Goolsbee’s meeting with representatives from the Canadian government, and as confirmed by the Canadian government, Sen. Obama’s position on NAFTA has not changed.”
The War Over “W”: Details of Oliver Stone’s “W” script continue to trickle out. Slate came up with a guide, including this scene about the origins of the phrase “Axis of Evil.”
Chief Speech Writer: “Axis of hatred?” I don’t know. Something about it … just misses.
Rove: Well, then what about “Axis of the unbearably odious?”
Bush: Don’t get cute, Turdblossom. This is serious.
Chief Speechwriter: What about … “Axis of Evil?”
Bush: “Axis of Evil.” I like the ring of that. That’s it.
How realistic are these scenes? Some sound like “SNL” parodies, perhaps even an April Fool’s joke.
“West Wing” Election: Lawrence O’Donnell, writer for “The West Wing,” has conjured up his own convention scenario.