Alex Massie

Department of Political Slogans and Charlatanry

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If you need a quick explanation for why Hillary Clinton is about to lose to Barack Obama, consider that her chief strategist is Mark Penn and that he boasts of this:

I have won about 70 major elections around the world, including many presidents, and I devised the simple message for Tony Blair in his last successful campaign: ‘Forward, Not Back.’

That's why Mr Penn is paid the big bucks! (More than $4m from the Hillary campaign alone, IIRC). "Good Stuff, Not Bad Stuff!" But if he thinks this is why ACL Blair won the last election then he's even more deluded than the average bloated political consultant.

Also: American readers still prepared to give Mr Penn the benefit of the doubt might remember that Blair's last victory came against the unelectable Michael Howard (and his previous election triumph was against the equally unelectable Iain Duncan-Smith; who, exactly, did Tony Blair ever beat who was in any way any good?). Secondly, voters could plump for Blair happy in the knowledge that he'd be gone in a year or two.

Now, it's true that there may be an element of Sellers Remorse now that we've been lumped with Gordon, but that's another matter entirely...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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