New York Post: Rise of the Office Romancers

December 30, 2007

Rise of the Office Romancers

Red Rodell is said to have responded to a reporter’s question about whether the Yale Law School faculty was “polarized” by proclaiming: “Of course not – they’re far too divided for that!”
In a nutshell, that’s also Mark Penn’s diagnosis of the American polity. He notes that the so-called Red/Blue divide is far weaker than generally supposed, but also points out that American society is, in fact, so splintered that dividing along Red and Blue lines makes it seem almost unified by comparison.

Penn, the Clinton pollster who “discovered” soccer moms and is chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, instead slices and dices the American polity into 75 “microtrends.”

Penn defines a microtrend as “an intense identity group [that] has needs and wants unmet by the current crop of companies, marketers, policymakers and others who would influence society’s behavior.” Most of Penn’s book consists of short descriptions of groups he considers particularly significant and unappreciated.