Mark Blumenthal | February 24, 2009
Topics: Dispatches from the War Room , Mark Penn , Stan Greenberg
Over at Politico, Ben Smith picks up the story of the Greenberg-Penn feud:
Greenberg’s new book ups the stakes. He argues that Penn played dirty inside the Blair campaign, tweaking the questions and introductions in his polls to produce results that favored his “mindless, fixed theory.” Through “biased wording,” Greenberg writes, “the tests were rigged.”
Penn fired back Monday on a polling website and in an interview with Politico, calling Greenberg’s charges of rigging “ludicrous,” his strategic theories “unsubstantiated,” and his attack the product of “sour grapes.”
The spat between the two men comes, perhaps not coincidentally, as Greenberg is selling his new book, Dispatches from the War Room. Their dispute offers a behind the scenes glimpse into the big-ego, big-bucks world of top-shelf political consulting, where franchises and reputations are made being the kingpin in a presidential campaign.
The small fraternity of top Democratic pollsters watched the fracas with amazement and amusement Monday, and sniped from the sidelines.
“This is ridiculous – this isn’t about polling and strategy,” said one, describing it as “a pissing match” that will, incidentally, “sell books.”
On a somewhat related and personal note, we will be back to other topics soon. I'm still depleted from a 24-hour viral bug that hit me yesterday, so apologies for less productivity than usual over the last two days.