Let me explain this to Ed Rendell in a way that he's sure to understand: he is to Hillary Clinton as he is to the Eagles. In both cases, he cheerleads, he exhorts, he pleads, he goes on television and offers his opinion, he probably spends too much time rooting and not running the state, and he is intensely loyal to a team that cannot win and ultimately will break his heart.
And I admire Ed Rendell for it. He was America's Mayor before Rudy Giuliani became America's Mayor. Ed earned the moniker because of the incredible job he did in putting Philadelphia back on the right track, despite long odds and plenty of opposition.
This is a guy who does not shy away from a challenge.
Governor Rendell is the best spokesperson for Hillary Clinton's campaign, far superior to the other people that campaign has put on television. Honestly, sometimes it seems as if the Clinton camp is just getting the idea that how a spokesperson comes across on TV is important when you're trying to get votes. They probably looked at the Nixon-JFK debate and thought Nixon win because he seemed more knowledgeable. The Clinton camp puts people out there who come across as either unprepared or angry. I say this subjectively, sure, but prior to signing up for Obama, I felt the same way about Hillary's spokespeople.
Ed Rendell is the best Hillary has, and let me just say that he would be an excellent spokesperson for any candidate that he supports. When I am on TV or radio, I've been asked to bash Hillary. I won't do it -- I'm not anti-Hillary, I'm pro-Obama. I get the impression that Governor Rendell is the same way; he's not anti-Obama, but instead he's pro-Hillary. I actually get the impression that he likes Obama more than he lets on.
Perhaps Governor Rendell's fairness comes to him because he was once the head of the Democratic National Committee. He knows that a party, after the nominating process, has to come together. The Hillary people who go on TV and try to kneecap Obama are people who many view as being more invested in the Clintons than they are the Democratic Party. Many Democrats won't forget that when this campaign is over.
I wish I could tell you that I knew everything about Ed Rendell's record as Governor, but I don't.
But here are the assets he brings: the Governor is glib, charismatic, and passionate, whether it's about football, the presidential nomination, or the issues that are facing the voters.
He's a Hillary supporter, and her most avid fan, and if he joined with Obama, it may be seen as a unity ticket. I know that Lawrence O'Donnell supports Obama running with another Clinton supporter, General Wesley Clark. While I like that idea, I don't feel that Obama needs his foreign policy credentials to be burnished. I believe the election will turn on the economy and domestic issues, and Governor Rendell is an asset in those areas.
Rendell is the chief executive of a state that is considered critical, but not a sure thing, for Democrats come general election time.
And it is obvious to anyone who has watched him on TV or seen him campaign that the Governor is a great campaigner.
So, if I'm asked: Obama-Rendell in '08.