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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/28/art.rendell.gi.jpg caption="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. Ralph

    This was one of her most ardent supporters, even when Hillary had nearly no chance to win. I wonder why she doesn't get it.

    June 4, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. Liar, Liar pants on fire

    Thanks for telling the truth Ed along with Carter! Some men still have their masculinity after being around Hillary.

    June 4, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. Pchapin

    Like I've said before, when the nomination is given to someone, she should fight. Was it fair the the DNC awarded Obama the uncommited delagates? This looks to me like a re=play of "Recount", only it's within the Democratic party. Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, & all the othe "power brokers" should be removed from their positions & those that were elected to office should be booted out next election.

    June 4, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  4. Gringo

    Don't do it, Hillary. Don't get mixed up with that mess !!! Go your own way... back to the Senate or an independent run.

    June 4, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Heidi in Houston

    I agree with Ed Rendell about Bill. That is the primary reason why I would NOT like a joint ticket ~ "The Bill Factor". Ugh!

    June 4, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. NoHillary

    She made a huge mistake last night, and missed her only opportunity to concede gracefully. She chose the incorrect path, a path that can only be interpreted as greedy political ambition. She has purchased herself a one-way ticket out of politics. Oops! Bye-ya Hillary.

    June 4, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. JC

    Hilary Clinton played herself with that kitchen sink Republican strategy that failed and left her in 30 million dollar in debt. She looks scorched!

    June 4, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. Glenn

    I don't usually agree with Rendell at all, but he is totally correct. Hillary as the VP would be a disaster. Hillary is the problem. Just look at last night. The only thing that Hillary cared about was Hillary! It is all about Hillary. She once again showed that she lacks character and integrity to make the critical decision. She showed last night that this election was about Hillary, not the Democratic Party, not her supporters and certainly not about the country. Hillary is truly pathetic! Absolutely no Hillary on the ticket as veep.

    June 4, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. Scott Mayhew

    Rendell is right...though characterizing it as "Obama would have to be a very big person to put her on the ticket" is a little off the mark. More like, "Obama would be stupid to put Clinton on the ticket, for all the reasons enumerated below". ...and, apparently, Rendell has had a moment to think about a joint ticket since he first aired his thoughts on the subject.

    June 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. GCG - Austin, TX

    Okay, so is his flip-flopping on this because he's come out of the Clinton echo chamber, or did he really only say it back then to help drive more votes for her in the remaining battles, OR is he just saying this now because HE wants to be the VP???

    Not sure we'll ever know, but certainly makes me not want to trust him at all. All of the reasons he's stating now for why she would not be good on the ticket are not NEW things - they were around last month in exactly the same proportion, when he was saying he'd "love" a joint ticket.

    June 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. ByeBye

    “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.”

    June 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. California Democrat

    Thanks Mr. Rendell. You are close to Hillary. Please ask her to do the right thing.

    June 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. JAY


    June 4, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. Matt

    They all care about themselfs. Only reason he don't want Hillary as VP because he wants be the VP. Sad. And Hillary should not bargain, or actually she shouldn't need to bargain. She is very very close second. It is not that Obama won by a landslide. So ignoring Hillary would be ignorning those votes.

    June 4, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  15. Vig

    There is no way the Obama people are going to have Clinton as VP – we all know that, so Obama should cut the crap. No Clinton as VP = no vote for Obama.

    June 4, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  16. TrueBlue

    HILLARY 2008 !!!

    Hillary you must run Independent, or we must vote for McCain. We moderate democrats will never vote for osama and his thug communists.


    June 4, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. Amy

    Forget Rendell and Hillary

    Obama Needs Sam Nunn!

    June 4, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. Kay

    Why would anyone want to ask a person such as Hillary Clinton to run as Senator Obama's VP? She has pulled every negative tactic in the book to try to discredit him. I would not trust anyone who has wanted to be the nominee so bad that she has done everything to him. And even after he won after leading continously, she still won't concede. I thing Hillary thinks the nomination should be given to her because she is a white woman.

    June 4, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  19. Democrats Unite Against 3rd Bush Term

    In Politics, there are no friends... and certainly, there are no enemies.

    Rendell has done a quick calculation and realized that he can fulfill his VP dreams by ditching Hillary (that's probably the reason he supported her in the first place)...

    Trust me, he wants to be VP, and as of now, Hillary is standing in his way!

    Obama 2008

    June 4, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. word_onstreet

    Hillary will bring a lot of baggae with her on a Joint Ticket., I feel that baggage would attarct lot more Republicans than the 'die hard' fans of hers, resulting in a net negative loss for Obama. The Clinaton name alone can bring out Rebulicans from ther closet to vote against the ticket....

    Besides, Hillary hardly represent a change from the same 'ol.

    So.. Obama ...run fresh, pick someone who can take the country in a new direction..not some one who was in White house for 8 years, who could not control her husband, her campaign nor her finances...

    June 4, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  21. Hillary

    I don't think I speak for myself only when I say I will never cast a vote for Obama. I cannot believe his supporters are still being nasty and smart mouthed toward Hillary. Obama was "put in" by the DNC heavies and the media. It had nothing to do with any skills on his part. All of us Hillary supporters have to swallow the fact that Hillary lost because of the abandonment of her party, and not to mention race. How could any Hillary supporter unit with him when his supporters will not even to this day shut their mouths. I will either write in Hillary's name, or stay home, or might even cast a vote for McCain. You will not hold us hostage with threats of what will happen if we vote for McCain because there is more of a threat if we vote for Obama. He knows nothing and is a shady person who cannot be trusted. How could the DNC shove her aside. I hope they go down the toilet. I will not and do not believe for a moment that Hillary supporters will go his way or rub elbows with him – CNN you cannot manipulate us that way. It is sad when the DNC and media pick the choice for President and not the people. Stop playing your mind games, you won ok. But now WE have the power to stop him in November – GO FOR IT HILLARY SUPPORTERS.

    June 4, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  22. ag

    She SHOULD get the VP slot.

    I love CNN, but I believe CNN is being incredibly biased and harsh to Cliton.
    She DID NOT have to concede yesterday, and she only said she was making NO DECISIONS – she didn't say she was in it for the long haul. She was ALLOWED to have a moment to address her supporters without it being the end.

    GIVE HER A BREAK! She got 18 million votes and didn't get the nomination. She's had a rough week! And she DID give Obama a nice pro-israel nod today, one he NEEDS desperately.
    CNN says she should have bowed out gracefully, but how can she when the media ISN'T letting her! Give her the respect she deserves. She earned it, and so did her 18 MILLION SUPPORTERS.

    June 4, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  23. Tamara

    Here again the Obama campaign and the far left of the party are trying to force Clinton to do something... Give it a break, what the hell are you all so afraid of. I'll beginning to feel as if you all have something to hide about Obama and you want to hurry to the finish line that he will limp over.

    It is obvious that the Clintons still rule this party by the way you are all acting. Ask Ted Kennedy what he did when he lost to Jimmy Carter, gee not even a hand shake and they were at the conventon. I am so sick of the s***. Do not blame Hillary when we lose in the GE, you hypocrates have only yourselves to blame.

    I hope Obama can steps up and does what is right and chooses Hillary as his VP if not you all will get what you deserve.

    June 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  24. Brian M., Allentown

    Hopefully Obama doesn't pick Rendell for his VP. They'll lose Pennsylvania by a landslide.

    June 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  25. RONNIE

    You freaking babies! Stop whining! Clinton is conceding on Friday.
    She recieved more votes than anyone and who cares when she concedes? Obamba still won.

    June 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
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