Ex-Clinton strategist: Obama needs event ‘similar’ to OKC bombing to ‘reconnect’ with voters


By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, November 5th, 2010

Talk about a bad analogy: Appearing on television recently, former Hillary Clinton campaign adviser and current public relations executive Mark Penn suggested that President Obama needs a moment "similar" to the tragic terrorist attack on the Oklahoma City federal building, in order to "reconnect" with voters.

He didn't even seem to flinch in making the comment.

Penn is currently president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller, a multi-national public relations firm. He also served in 2008 as chief strategist for then-Senator Hillary Clinton's run for the White House. Before that, Penn advised former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his third run for the UK leadership post, and served clients such as AT&T, Texaco, Ford, Merck, Verizon, BP, McDonald’s and Microsoft.

After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush experienced the highest approval ratings of his presidency, but the same could not be said of President Clinton after the Oklahoma City bombing.

On April 19, 1995 -- the same day as the attack in Oklahoma -- President Clinton was sitting on a 46 percent approval rating, according to polling firm Gallup. Following his speech to the nation regarding the attack, a Time/CNN poll on April 27 found his approval had jumped to 60 percent, but it was back down to 42 percent by the end of May according to Gallup.


"Remember, President Clinton reconnected through Oklahoma, right?" Penn said, appearing on MSNBC's Hardball on Thursday. "And the president right now seems removed. It wasn't until that speech [after the bombing] that [Clinton] really clicked with the American public. Obama needs a similar -- a similar kind of ... Yeah."

By comparison, President Obama, freshly chastised by voters in the mid-term elections that flipped control of the US House into Republican hands, is in roughly the same place as President Clinton was after the 1994 mid-terms, although his party still controls the US Senate whereas Clinton's Democrats did not.

With an approval rating stuck at 44 percent according to Gallup, indicators as to how well the president's party is faring actually show a clear contrast between 1994 and 2010. Then, congressional Democrats were saddled with a 47 percent disapproval rating according to Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, whereas today they sit at 37 percent disapproval.

All numbers considered, it seems at the very least cynical and at the very worst maniacal to suggest that a mass casualty event is just the thing Obama needs right now.

Following the Oklahoma City attack, Congress acted to implement most of the president's national security proposals, much as representatives did with the USA Patriot Act following Sept. 11, 2001.

Penn's claim is sure to stir up right-leaning conspiracy mills that insist federal agents helped Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh on behalf of the Clinton administration. This is especially likely in the wake of President Clinton's analogy in April, comparing irrational tea party rage to the right-wing militia movement many credit with fostering McVeigh's thought process.

This video was broadcast on MSNBC's Hardball on Nov. 4, 2010, as snipped by Think Progress.


False Flag 101

Every college and university needs at least one course in this topic. How about this course title: False-Flag Operations: History, Theory, and Practice.

Civics classes in high school might also cover this, so as to warn all students what is likely ahead.

In an informed democracy, no one reading a newspaper should remain unaware of this false flag variety of terrorism.

false flag variety

seems to be the common variety

This shows how sick our society has become

when a topic like this is discussed openly as part of a public relations analysis. There's not enough fires burning around the world already we need another one so the president can play at the first responder role?

A new Pearl Harbor

Calling for the 'need' of a large scale terror attack, assassination or war incident as a pretext is a sickening trend. That said, there are at least three ways this could pan out: (1) A violent event occurs and this is opportunistically exploited (2) A violent event is deliberately allowed to happen, assisted with patsies and/or FBI entrapment and (3) A violent event is manufactured by security services and either responsibility is not claimed or it's blamed on an innocent third party.

All three have happened, but it's an error to automatically assume only (3) is possible after the 'need' for an attack is declared.

I believe (1) is meant here, but this could easily morph into (2) or (3), if some insane black ops segment of the US government deems it feasible and justified, with or without approval up top. Think about it in terms of the mafia: a mafia boss might exclaim: "I wish somebody would just take care of this guy". And that's all there is said. He wouldn't say it in public though, and somebody in the hierarchy, or just somebody sympathetic might follow up on this wish with or without permission.

In my opinion, all three variants are equally disgusting.