I emailed Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna to ask if controversial pollster Mark Penn is again advising the Clintons, as a Democratic strategist told BuzzFeed Penn had said. The response:
Penn was a key architect of Bill Clinton's 1996 victory and of Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate win. He was ousted from her turbulent 2008 presidential campaign, and has many enemies among her former aides.
Some former Clinton aides say they won't work for a 2016 campaign if Penn has a major role. There would be "great rejoicing" if Penn returned," one old foe, Paul Begala, told BuzzFeed. "The problem is the rejoicing would be among Republicans."
Says a top Democrat: "There are 2 constituencies: There's a whole lot of political professionals who think Penn was a big problem in her last campaign, but there's another constituency of Bill and Hillary Clinton who may feel otherwise."
Ben Smith is the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed and is based in New York.