Gov. Ed Rendell decried a double standard in the treatment of Sarah Palin on Monday, saying that if it was he who was at the center of the "troopergate" investigation, the press would be calling for his head.
"She [claims to be] a reformer," said the Pennsylvania Democrat. "And yet she is being investigated on the charge that she used her power as governor to fire someone who was going through a messy divorce with a relative of hers. Could you imagine if I was doing the same thing in Pennsylvania? You would be calling for my impeachment."
The remarks came at the end of a long list of criticisms that Rendell, one of the foremost supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, launched against the Republican vice presidential nominee. Ignoring the directive of the Obama campaign to focus attentions on McCain, Rendell called out Palin on everything from ethics to earmarks.
"[The McCain camp] has tried to again obscure the facts about Gov. Palin. 'She is a reformer and against earmarks.' No she isn't, when she was mayor of that town she hired a lobbyist to get earmarks... 'She was against the bridge to nowhere.' No she wasn't. She was for the bridge to nowhere first... She is a budget balancer. But she left the town in greater debt then when she became mayor, so she is not a budget balancer."
"I like her," Rendell concluded. "She is a good person, she has tremendous potential but in no way shape or form is she ready to be president of the United States."
The Rendell call, organized to preempt a McCain appearance in Pennsylvania, was ostensibly on the topic of how the Arizona Republican has engaged in dirty politics when it came to discussing Obama's tax record. And on this issue, Rendell was again in vintage outspoken form.
"First of all, let me say it should be embarrassing for the Republican ticket that Rick Davis, Sen. McCain's campaign manager, said 'this election is not about issues.' Good lord, with all the challenges facing America it has to be about issues...They don't want to talk about issues because when the truth comes out about issues the American people will favor Sen. Obama tremendously."
The Republicans, he added, "would make the all time all-star team for spiders the way they can spin."
But most questions, as has been the case since the Palin announcement, were focused on the Alaska governor.
Would she siphon of Clinton supporters in Pennsylvania? No, said Rendell, who expected Obama to receive somewhere along the lines of "95,96, or 97 percent of the vote."
Was she qualified to serve as VP? Absolutely not, he bemoaned.
The McCain camp argues that, "Governor Palin, because of her executive experience as a mayor of a small 9,000 person town and governor of Alaska for 20 months, has that experience. Well, I refer you to a McCain camp document they put out when [Virginia] Gov. Kaine was considered to be vice president. They attacked his experience and derided Richmond [where Kaine was formerly mayor] because it was the 105th largest city ... I think Gov. Palin was mayor of the 50,000th [most populated] city in the America... It was fair game to say Gov. Kaine was not qualified because of his credentials. If they are going to be consistent then they believe that Gov. Palin is unqualified to be vice president."