Washington Post: How Obama can find his center, writes Mark Penn

Published January 31, 2011

Centrists of America, rejoice. After being out of whack for two years, the political system and the president have come back to the mainstream.

For all of the drum-beating from both extremes during the election season, the result has been a surprisingly sensible shift to the center – a position advocated by neither of the groups that tend to drive so much of the nation’s political conversation.

Now, having adopted a centrist outlook in his State of the Union address, President Obama needs to fill it out with big ideas that solve our major problems rather than let us keep kicking the can down the road.

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Mark Penn on Microtrends in Huntsville, Alabama [VIDEO]

Mark Penn answered questions on the diversity of Microtrends that are impacting society in Huntsville, Alabama and in America at large.

Watch the video at the Huntsville Newswire

The Huffington Post: State of the Union: Did Obama Win His Future?

Published January 26, 2011

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama certainly reached out to the Republicans, praised American innovation and know-how, and for the most part avoided lightning rod issues on either side. It was a huge leap forward for a president who was close to life support just a few months ago. If his goal was to avoid getting into deeper trouble and getting as much bipartisan applause as possible, he certainly achieved those goals. And Supreme Court bashing was out, even though the ruling he complained about last year still stands.

The centerpiece was his praise of America and its ability to be competitive.

But, if President Obama hopes to “win the future” in 2012, his speech came up short Tuesday night. It was certainly a big and earnest move to the center, but it lacked the kind of specifics and innovative policies that the president needs to make America competitive in the 21st Century.

Read the Full Article at the Huffington Post

New York Daily News: Mark Penn gives the President advice on his State of the Union speech

Published January 23, 2011

In his State of the Union, President Obama has the opportunity, and even mission, to articulate the new direction he has taken in his presidency since the shellacking in the 2010 midterm elections. There is no doubt that he has radically changed course by backing the Bush tax cuts, sending olive branches to big business and reshuffling his team.

But so far, the public has had to read the tea leaves on what he is really thinking and where he wants to take the country. And when it comes to fixing the economy, he has completely lacked any coherence, veering from bailouts of Wall Street to sharp condemnations.

In 1996, former President Bill Clinton was as clear as a bell, declaring that the “era of big government is over,” but this did not mean a return to fending for yourself for those in need. He went back to his New Democratic philosophy of opportunity, responsibility and community, backing a balanced budget that, at the same time, would preserve entitlements.

The best I can make of the Obama retooling is that it will be based on something less coherent but potentially just as potent — a revised economic philosophy that is based more on private sector renewal while holding firm to liberal views on social issues like choice, gay rights and stem cell research. Politically, he will leave the radical right Christian coalition behind while seeking to attract moderates who reject the Republicans on social issues but have been attracted to lower taxes, smaller government and toughness on national security.

This is potentially very successful for him – because it both splits the Republican Party and keeps together much of the Obama 2008 base, which is made up of better educated, upper-income voters who are fine with gay marriage as long as their taxes are kept low.

Last year, the President used his State of the Union speech to launch into the breach, telling Democrats to stand their ground, calling Republicans the “party of no” and basically suggesting that the assembled Supreme Court justices sitting at his feet had turned a blind eye to the need to get corporate money out politics.

This year we can expect something quite different – a tribute to working together to pass a tax compromise, a desire to put aside politics to make progress and an emphasis on putting people back to work. Last year, he was Superman; this year, he will strive to be the super statesman.

Read the full article at the New York Daily News

Mark Penn on MSNBC’s Hardball: Obama connected with the American people in his Tucson speech [VIDEO]

MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan and Democratic strategist Mark Penn join Hardball’s Chris Matthews to discuss President Barack Obama’s address in Arizona.

Watch the video at Real Clear Politics