Hilary Clinton needs to put a muzzle on Mark Penn, if not let go of him outright. Because the way he has been sounding since the Iowa results, as exemplified in this Wall Street Journal story, is only going to hurt her:
Both inside and outside the Clinton campaign, Democrats were grumbling on Friday that the signals being sent -- chiefly from Mr. Penn, in his lengthy remarks to reporters aboard a charter flight from Iowa -- suggested that the campaign is more interested in having Sen. Obama brought down than in building up Sen. Clinton.
In almost every Democratic election, Mr. Penn said at one point, "You see people latch on to the new, seemingly fresh candidate, only to then take a sobering look at the choice they have when it comes down to the end of it. I think you're going to see that again."
Sen. Obama's senior strategist, Mr. Axelrod, responds: "Mark Penn is about as subtle as a screen door on a submarine." Mr. Axelrod criticizes the strategy that has had Sen. Clinton emphasizing her "strength and experience" as a contrast with freshman Sen. Obama's relative lack of Washington experience.
I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will hear Penn's comments and think, "I'll take vague and fuzzy over that kind of rhetoric." Indeed, that's the conclusion the Barack Obama campaign has been working so hard to inspire. Helping them achieve their goal more rapidly than they ever could have alone is political folly.