Politico: Obama bets on the ‘House’ card

Politico

By MARK PENN
Published February 20, 2009

If the $800 billion stimulus bill works, Barack Obama will go down as a great president who took bold and decisive action at a time of growing national crisis — and the midterm elections, and even his reelection, will be a breeze.

If it fails, moderate Democrats in swing states will find themselves back in the private sector in two years and Obama will face what President Bill Clinton faced in 1995: a tough uphill battle.

If you watch the TV show “House,” you can easily recognize Obama’s move. In the show, a brilliant diagnostician seeks to solve medical mysteries by trying a series of different approaches on patients who are often hurtling toward an inexplicable death. After several attempts that fail, he tries an unconventional, risky treatment that works and the patient is saved — most of the time. Occasionally, he chooses the wrong course, wiping out the immune system in the process — and the patient dies.

Obama displayed leadership, guts, decisiveness and political savvy to move one of the biggest pieces of legislation in history through Congress in record time.

Read Full Article

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: Green Workers

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published February 19, 2009

Presidents and politicians no longer talk about simply creating jobs — now they are creating “green jobs.” Just in the stimulus bill alone, there are said to be four million new green jobs. It’s a great term — it conjures up neatly dressed employees working under compact fluorescent lights, and factory workers in white and green helmets huddled over solar cells and wind turbines. These aren’t boring office jobs or repetitive manufacturing plant jobs — no, they’re socially useful and rewarding jobs. And they’ll save the planet, too.

Read the Full Article

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: Committed Cohabiters

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published February 3, 2009

With all the stimulus ready to go into more broadband, bigger tax cuts and infrastructure, some of America’s most expensive societal investments are also on the decline and in need of a bailout — getting married.

Marriage in America is on the rocks. People skirt the issue, talking about how career women delay marriage until it’s too late, or about how men marry younger the second time around. But the truth is, except for the highest-income Americans among us, fewer and fewer of us are getting married at all.

Read the Full Article

--->