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Clinton Advisor Wanted to Hit Obama For Un-American Roots

A clash of personalities unraveled Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House, according to The Atlantic, which published internal Clinton camp emails and memos last night.

One of the most astonishing communications came in March 2007, when Hillary Clinton's then-chief strategist Mark Penn authored an email that resembled a smear chain email, more than a strategy recommendation against a friendly primary opponent. Penn wrote:

All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared toward showing his background is diverse, multicultural, and putting that in a new light. Save it for 2050. . . . It also exposes a very strong weakness for him — his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited. 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 goes on to say that Hillary should own "American." To find out what he suggested,


Penn thought Clinton could show Obama's weakness by mentioning that she was born in middle American in every speech, handing out American flags with her logo, and attaching "American" to the title of every proposed policy program.

Thanks to internal fighting among Clinton staffers, The Atlantic got its hands on these inside communications, spanning from the October 2006, before Hillary was publicly running to her final pitch to superdelegates on June 3, 2008.

Perhaps this revelation that a top adviser wanted to target Obama's "lack" of American roots will help the two camps reconcile because Hillary did not pursue the attack line, but then again it could resurrect tense feelings between the two groups of the Democratic party.


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