June 4th, 2008
04:17 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton backer – and VP prospect – tries to cool joint ticket talk

Rendell has been a powerful Clinton surrogate.
Rendell has been a powerful Clinton surrogate.

(CNN) - Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell – one of Hillary Clinton’s staunchest supporters – said bluntly Wednesday that the New York senator was in no position to bargain with presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

“There’s no bargaining. You don't bargain with the presidential nominee,” Rendell told NY1. “Even if you're Hillary Clinton and you have 18 million votes, you don't bargain.”

Rendell – the governor of a major November battleground state who has often been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick – said Obama would need to be an “enormously big person” to invite Clinton to join him on the ticket.

But in a reversal from earlier statements – and remarks at odds with recent comments from many major Clinton supporters – Rendell seemed to signal that a joint ticket featuring the party’s two candidates was not ideal.

He said that if Clinton were Obama’s running mate, her husband - former President Bill Clinton - could be a wild card during the general election.

“The Obama campaign would have to make strict rules, you know, about what President Clinton could and could not do during the campaign...” said Rendell. “For example, the Obama campaign would have to control his schedule - where he would go into, what states.”

“You know, normally politicians don't want to be outshone. Well you know you've got Bill Clinton lurking in the background. But Hillary Clinton, a very charismatic figure for many Americans - generally a lot of politicians don't like to put somebody like that on the ticket," he added.

"You know rule one for the vice president is make sure you never upstage the president, right? It’s rule one. You know, Hillary Clinton in some ways couldn't help but upstage, even if she was trying not to.”

In an interview two months ago, Rendell responded to a question about the prospect of a joint ticket with a much different reaction. “I can’t speak for Senator Clinton, but I would love that,” he told ABC News, calling Clinton and Obama "a history-making duo.”

soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. Mari - TX

    DNC has Rules for what order states vote; Hopefully those 2 states that decided on their own to MOVE up ahead of the other states will learn to take their turn. Hillary backed them because that is HER style... badly done. Now she has to "take time" to think what her next move will be since Sen. Obama is now the Democratic Nominee.. Wow... I AM GLAD SHE IS NOT ANSWERING THE PHONE AT 3AM..she would have to take days to think about what she will do.

    June 4, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Charles

    After the poor campaign her managers ran, she does not deserve consideration-she chose them. And there are a lot of people who do not understand what primaries are: the primaries are a 'members only' process in which the concept of vote as it would be defined in a general election does not apply. Her campaign team continues to fail to understand this even after being beaten. That failure is going to cost her a chance at the VP slot. And continued misunderstanding will probably make them lose a chance to impact the party's plank position at the convention.

    Her managers played a game of chess on a board designed for the game of Go.

    June 4, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Drew, Central FL

    I think the "Bill Factor" had a lot to do with her loss. Rendell makes some valid points.

    On a side note, you can already see how divisive McCain is getting with his pandering for Hillary voters. Does he really think they will forgive him for using the C-word with his own wife? Talk about out of touch.

    June 4, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. DRicks

    I am sick of everyone talking about what Hillary Clinton wants. She lost the nomination. We should be asking what, if anything, does Senator Obama want FOR Hillary Clinton. It's been implied that Hillary wants the VP spot. Does Hillary think that not conceding, not congratulating him, barely even referring to him in her speech last night and in her speech to the AIPAC today is making a case for her? Hillary's defiance appears to me, my friends, fellow alumni and my family as ungracious, unkind and bitter. These are not qualities that I would look for in a VP and it is my greatest hope that Senator Obama does NOT add her to the tickect!

    June 4, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  5. The US abolishes century old clinton dynasty

    waht is he after ???

    I just want her staff to be paid, and utnil i see it, and hear it from her mouth and see that her website which by the way is asking for money and wanting the 18 million votes heard.............
    until that is gone, i dont think she means what she says..

    Obama Sebelius )8

    anyone but clinton

    June 4, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. Ardnuas

    I think Rendell should be the VP, or Chuck Hagel
    Obama/Rendell 08

    June 4, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. Matt

    And by the way, Obama is the presumtive democratic candidate. Why? Because he didn't win yet. The delegates didn't vote yet, and are free to change their mind. This all does not sound democratic to me, and it seems the democratic party is using republican tactics. Look at florida and Michigan, not counting all votes?? Hello? Where do we live? It seems to me that they rigged the primaries. This will come back and haunt the democratic party in the general election. The republicans will have a field day with this. And why is Clinton bashing so popular? Did we all turn into bullies? Are we so brainless that we forgot all the good things Clinton did for the USA? And then again, Hillary is not Clinton. I think that Clinton did make some enemies during his time, showing that he is not politics as ussual. And those enemies will do everything to stop Hillary, its only sad to see that the rest of America is following them.
    In addition, now the media is focussing on this watershed moment, that we have a first african american presidential candidate. Well that is great (don't get me wrong), however Hillary would have been the first woman candidate, somehow that seems less important. It seems America is still more sexist than racesist. Good save America.

    June 4, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. dmac90

    Why is anyone surpised? This has and will be all about one thing.... Hillary. She's too busy jockying for position to get what she wants to see the big picture and do what's right for the party. She can't let go of the spotlight and wants everyone to keep looking and talking about her. She's a self centered, egotistical bi-otch. Why all these women are so blindly following her is beyond me.

    June 4, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Antenna Wilde

    Many Clinton supporters are saying they'll vote for McCain. Get a soul. If that doesn't throw integrity right out the window, just shoot me now.

    Look, Obama needs an old white guy. Sorry to sound blunt; bringing sex and race into it, but it wasn't me that did so in the first place. We've learned that, however far the country has come (and congrats are in order) there's still a bunch of racists and sexists. Just a fact.

    Second call for the old white guy: he must be an ex-military man. Who better to stuff a rag in McCain's pie hole than another military "hero"?
    An old, white military man is the exact counter balance to Obama. Hillary is asking too much already, plus, she has the highest negatives of any political figure around. The Dems will lose a lot of Independents that way.

    Wesley Clark. Obama/Clark Ticket = Victory

    June 4, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. WOW

    I feel sorry for Hillary, she thought she had this one before it began.
    I was a Hillary supporter until this started and I was able to see how old
    Washington she is. I am so tired of people making it black and white (MEDIA) and what we all need to do is unite and get this Country turned around to be the great Nation we are truly intended to be. May God continue to bless America and show people what life is all about. LOVE!
    Hillary cannot change and she will try her best to stop Obama from being the next President. I

    June 4, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. tired voter

    please please drop out Hillary and stop lying to us about being supportive if you lose. NEWS FLASH!!!!! YOU LOST LAST NIGHT! this is exactly why we do not need someone like you as a VP, sore loser!

    June 4, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. GHMaia

    There is one thing I need to get straight, the woman wins in all the big key states, she win in the popular vote in record numbers, she has the experience and the inteligence, and yet, she's not suitable for a joint ticket? I just think that a joint ticket in these circumstances is ideal, they complete each other in so many aspects...

    June 4, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Randy - Denver

    Sorry about mylast rant (if posted)
    To answer this tickler I have to agree by putting Ms. Clinton on the ticket Mr. Obama also adds President Clinton. Ms. Clinton showed that he can be a loose cannon when he was supporting her and Mr. Obama will have enough to do trying to keep his supporters and the DNC from turning into the RNC with attack ads that focus on personality vice the issues. Watching out for whatever foolishness will come out of President Clinton's mouth, making sure Ms. clinton is not trying to undermine his campaign, trying to keep the DNC and his supporters from bringing this campaign down into the gutter AND oh yeah actually campaigning and answering all the RNC trash that will get thrown his way would be a bit much to ask of anyone, and while I am sure he COULD do it I do not think he NEEDS to do it.

    June 4, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. Eric Burton

    Forcing Obama to Put Hiliary Clinton on the VP ticket is like making the losers of the NBA finals share there trophey with the Champions!!!!!! In every race there is a WINNER and a LOSER as if Mr.Obama owes her something, she didnt help him beat her. He owes her nothing! Maybe Rev. Phlieger was right in his statement about her. She seem bratty and self observed. As if it a birth right to win. You hate to play the race card but if Obama was in her situation he would already be counted out.

    Eric Burton

    June 4, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. Obama Mama

    I was highly disappointed and disgusted with Hillary's speech last night. Who does she think she is? She made it very apparent that she has no regard or concern for her country...only herself! That was an "ITS ALL ABOUT ME" speech and I think she made a huge mistake in doing so. There is no way that Senator Obama will bring her on to the ticket....He is certainly smarter than that. I know he will do what is right for his campaign and what is best for the country.....and as far as most can see, she is NOT it!

    OBAMA/WEBB '08
    OBAMA/SEBELIUS '08

    June 4, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. Edryn

    I AM SICK OF THESE PEOPLE SAYING THAT THEY WILL VOTE FOR MCLAME!!! Are you a democrat or not?

    June 4, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. Peggy - Tx

    Well said !!! She has no leverage to bargin with. Increasingly, she seems seriously out of touch with reality. There are so many other deserving public servants that are accomplished that have standing with voters of various important states, that would enhance the ticket rather than drag it down to seriously consider Mrs Clinton as VP.

    June 4, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. CNN loves Hillary

    Anyone who would vote McCain is NOT A MODERATE DEMOCRAT.

    June 4, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. obamachick Los Angeles CA

    Attn all Democrats!!

    THIS IS TURNING INTO A CIRCUS....WE ARE LOOSING FOCUS OF BEATING MCBUSH. HILLIARY SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THE VP SEAT. I THOUGH EXTORTION WAS AGAINST THE LAW, BECAUSE THAT IS THE FEELING THAT I AM GETTING FROM THE CLINTON CAMP. PICK ME OR ELSE? WHAT EVER THE CASE. LET THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PICK HIS OWN VP. THE VOTERS WILL EITHER BACK US OR THEY WILL BE KICKING THEMSELVES FOR CHOOSING MCBUSH.

    OBAMA08/16

    June 4, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Denial

    RB TX ....... these Republican smear tactics .. don't work anymore ..

    Democrats 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 4, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. barry

    he cant win without her and everyone knows it. she would be a smart choice. yes he will have to deal with her strengths and bill. but better to be the president than the guy who lost his run for the presidency...

    June 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. politics

    the future looks gloomy now. Hillary would put us back up, but this young and already involved in so much heavy baggage will not do. He is there for himself and his wife. Not for us.
    Hillary, please, stay and run whatever way you can.

    June 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. jengoescrazy

    Hillary/Bill as Obama's forced VP package would indeed be a death-blow to the Dem party.
    The USA has had enough of the Clinton's. They are simply NOT trustworthy, especially after seeing their true colors throughout Hillary's disasterous campaign.
    Let's MOVE ON, we can do better.

    June 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Just another Obamaniac

    Do not listen to the Republican bloggers who have nothing better to do than to sway Hillary votes to McCain.

    To the matter at hand, I truly do not think that Hillary joining Obama's ticket is a good idea. She was way too negative during the campaign and she has become too abrasive. She ran a helluva' campaign and made history, don't get me wrong... However, instead of bowing out last night with the nomination virtually secured for Obama, she chose to "think about it." What is there to think about? It is true that she could take the battle to the convention, but that would merely highlight the fact that she is a sore loser and feels some entitlement to the job. It's like Hillary feels that the presidency is something that a person deserves, not earns!!!

    The people have spoken and its time for all Democrats to coalesce around Barack Obama. The choice is clear, if you want to continue the direction of our country for the past 8 years, vote McCain. I just do not buy these people who say Hillary or I'm voting for McCain. Their views on the issues are the polar opposites from each other!!! Seems like GOP disinformation tactics to me...

    YES WE CAN, Obama 2008 & 2012

    June 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. Larry

    Watch your back Ed. You have pissed off a Clinton.

    June 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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