Ed Rendell: Super Surrogate

The New York Times has a fun piece on Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's extraordinary efforts on behalf of Hillary's Clinton's presidential campaign: Few presidential candidates ...
by | April 15, 2008
 

The New York Times has a fun piece on Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's extraordinary efforts on behalf of Hillary's Clinton's presidential campaign:

Few presidential candidates have ever had the benefit of a local promoter like Mr. Rendell, who before being elected governor was the mayor of Philadelphia. He is campaigning as vigorously for Mrs. Clinton's election as he would for his own, and constantly talking her up with remarks that, alas, sometimes go off message. (On Monday, he shrugged off the impact of Mr. Obama's comments. "It will cost a couple of points at the margin, but it won't be a sea-changer," the governor said.)

But Mr. Rendell is at the ready. He helps craft Mrs. Clinton's messages, escort her around the state and introduce her at events. He has enlisted his fund-raisers to assist her, ginned up endorsements and coaxed some superdelegates into staying neutral until after the Pennsylvania primary. He has made commercials for her. He juggles state business and her political business with equal urgency -- haggling over financing for a development project in Wilkes-Barre and an airport expansion in Erie one minute, calling in to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC the next.

His credibility as a local spokesman automatically vaulted him into the national spotlight.

"Every time I turn on the TV, I see you," Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a leading supporter of Mr. Obama, told Mr. Rendell backstage recently at a Democratic dinner here in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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