Mr. Vice President?


It’s a presidential election year again which inevitably leads to talk about Ed Rendell as vice president.

The argument always moves along the same line and includes some reference to “popular governor,” “swing state,” “tireless campaigner,” yadda yadda.

In fact, this scenario has gotten brought up so often since 2000 that it was actually incorporated into the last season of the West Wing when a popular Democratic governor from Pennsylvania – played by Ed O’Neil – was chosen to replace the dearly departed Leo McGarry as vice-president.  Many feel that O’Neil’s character, Eric Baker – was at least loosely based on our own Governor Rendell.  And by many, I mean me.

Well, the idea is out there again.

From Matt Littman at Huff Po:

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.

Littman proposes all this while admitting that he doesn’t know anything about Rendell’s record as governor.  Trust me, if Rendell were to become the vice-presidential candidate, we’d all hear a whole lot more about Rendell’s record as governor.

Not that it’s a bad record by any stretch.  If anything, he’s done a lot to drag a mid-20th century state into the 21st century both in the way the government is run and in the challenges that it addresses.  He’s done this for the most part while dealing with two houses of a state legislature that have been controlled by the opposite party (until recently) and for which “dysfunctional” would be a marked improvement.

But Ed is Ed.  He’s no one’s second fiddle. He could never be a Senator (1 of a 100) and while running a cabinet office is an executive position itself, it’s still tough for me to picture him as answering to anyone but the voters who put him in office.

“Glib, passionate and charismatic” can easily become “loose cannon” setting a ticket off message and cost several news cycles during a time when the Democratic team will need to be firing on all cylinders, playing offense and bringing it to McCain.

So where does that leave the Governor?  DNC chair didn’t seem to be the best fit for him either.  I’m sure if he had his druthers, owning the Eagles may be at the top of his list.  For once we’d have a political executive making the move to owning a sports team, rather than the other way around.

At this point, let’s just hope the Governor can start improving a lot of those social indicators that right now have Pennsylvania thanking God for Mississippi and Louisiana.


5 Responses to “Mr. Vice President?”

  1. Ed Rendell agrees with me! « Y-Decide 2008 Says:

    […] Rendell agrees with me! So I found it interesting that following up the piece I wrote yesterday in which I stuck a pin in the balloon of the notion that Ed Rendell should be the vice-presidential […]

  2. Mark Says:

    The only way I will vote for Obama is if he bring on Rendell as VP. I am a lifelong Dem and voted for Clinton. but I have issues with some of the Obama flock. Rendell would unify the party and be a much better choice for VP than Hillary.

  3. Paul Says:

    Rendell for VP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great choice and only chance for Obama to become president.

  4. Another voice for Rendell as Veep « Y-Decide 2008 Says:

    […] I’m still skeptical that this would ever happen and that it would be a good idea, the more the Rendell as v.p. gets […]

  5. Kyle PA Says:


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