GQ: Mark Penn On Why She Lost

Why? The press always falls in love with the new cool intellectual candidate. You know, he is their kind of candidate. Go back through history. They didn't like Al Gore. They loved Gary Hart. They love those kinds of candidates, always have. But—but—but look, I think that he was the first African-American, you know, credible presidential candidate was a factor behind how much the press was enthusiastic about him. But she was also the first woman candidate. But the standard… You know, the microscope that they put her under, that they did not put her opponent and opponents under, was just incredible. I don't think anybody has ever been put under this kind of microscope running for president. There were certain times early in the campaign where she would try to be…do what people tell her, and say, "Hey, I'll be more relaxed, I'll tell a little joke." But every time she told the joke, it became a, you know, a federal case. Her words are parsed. Every single word is parsed. By the right, by the left, by the press. In a way that makes it kind of…difficult to just, quote, go out there and let it all hang out. And so she is naturally careful and precise in the things she goes on to say. But I think that during that same time, there were a lot of off-the-record sessions with the press, a lot of behind-the-scenes work she was doing. And over time she gave, you know, she did a lot more going back to the press, and she was great. See, if you go back to some of the myths of the campaign, I'm sure, if you check, that she has far more availabilities than Obama's had. That she has been far more accessible to the press, overall. So the question is who had the impression of who's accessible.

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What did you say to her, when it was clear that it was over? You know, to have a conversation like that, I'll wait a period of time. I'm not gonna have that conversation right now. There's something about the way this race went on and the way she fought through it… Look, they wanted to get her out. Ever since Iowa! No, it's something I'm gonna wait on a little bit and kinda go back emotionally on, you know? [laughs] I mean, this interview says about the maximum that I can say.

GQ on Roman Polanski, Hollywood's Most Notorious Filmmaker

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