Washington, Aug.12 : New York's junior senator and one-time Democrat presidential contestant Hillary Clinton was urged by her chief strategist to targetrival Barack Obama's "lack of American roots".
According to an inside-the-bunker article published in The Atlantic, key adviser Mark Penn ridiculed Obama's "boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii," arguing Obama's multicultural diversity could be exploited.
Penn urged Clinton that "every speech should contain the line you were born in the middle of America" and include "the deeply American values you grew up with, learned as a child and that drive you today.
"Let's explicitly own 'American' in our programs, the speeches and the values. He doesn't. Make this a new American Century, the American Strategic Energy Fund. Let's use our logo to make some flags we can give out. Let's add flag symbols to the backgrounds."
Penn added, "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."
A summary of the magazine's postmortem on Clinton's collapse, headlined "The Front-Runner's Fall," was previewed by Politico.com Sunday.
Atlantic senior editor Joshua Green, who obtained numerous internal campaign e-mails and memos, writes that Clinton's once-supposedly impregnable campaign disintegrated into "epic meltdown" by backbiting, staff disarray and the candidate's indecision.
The internal chaos, personal jealousies and policy disputes of the Clinton campaign have been exhaustively documented in the past year as the candidate went from slam-dunk winner to an also-ran thumped by Obama, a junior senator from Illinois.
Green concludes, "What is clear from the internal documents is that Clinton's loss derived not from any specific decision she made but rather from the preponderance of the many she did not make."