Penn Strategy Memo, March 19, 2007: More than anything else, this memo captures the full essence of Mark Penn's campaign strategy--its brilliance and its breathtaking attacks. Penn identified with impressive specificity the very coalition of women and blue-collar workers that Clinton ended up winning a year later. But he also called Obama "unelectable except perhaps against Attila the Hun," and wrote, "I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values." Penn proposed targeting Obama's "lack of American roots."
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Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.