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. Emmanuel

    This simply rattles my core that such a healthy form of political participation is misconstrued for greed and in-ordinate ambition. This are the moments that we should appreciate the course of American democracy.
    What Obama decides to do with the Clinton debacle is between him and his advisors to decide.. It is rude to attempt some sort of manuevre to speed up his decision, am sure that they will arrive at a reasonable conclusion soon.

    June 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. B - NYC

    With due respects to Senator Obama for running a good campaign, despite needing four times the money and the title of "media darling" to win.

    His supporters need to realize a few things... They have been rude and disrespectful to Senator Clinton therefore, rude to her supporters... What they are failing to realize is that HE NEEDS HER, SHE DOES NOT NEED HIM and we will NOT support him, which means, he will in fact not have enough votes to win in November...

    I would start being a bit respectful if I were you...


    June 4, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Reese from NC

    Sounds like he is telling Hillary stay away from my job. Love ya, but I am trying to catch a ride on the Obama train.

    June 4, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Glad it's OVER!!!

    I still don't understand why some people continue to make an issue of Obama being awarded the uncommitted pledged delegates in Michigan. If she hadn't lost, I doubt this would even be an issue. All of the major Democratic candidates agreed not to campaign in Michigan after being told that the results would be nullified due to the earlier-than-allowed primary. Hillary was the only major candidate whose name appeared on the ballots. You're correct in your belief that we don't know what percentage of those "uncommitted" ballots would have went to Obama, just as we don't know how much of the roughly 59% of the pro-Hillary ballots might have went to Obama, Edwards, Richardson or Biden had they not removed their names. Honestly, the fairest solution would have been to stick by the initial decision not to seat those delegates but the Democrats had to appease the Florida and Michigan camps. Face it, Barack won fair and square. If you truly believe that the Democratic Party annointed him as their candidate from day one, I encourage you to view archived articles and magazines from last year. This was Hillary's primary to lose and she lost it. She was the presumptive nominee and she knew it. Her behavior and approach reflected that and may have been her undoing.

    June 4, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. SueWKline

    Looks like Gov. Rendell wants to be VICE PRESIDENT...Otherwise, why would he care if Obama talks to Senator Clinton, or vice versa? Methinks the man doth protest too much. (Pardon my Shakespeare, I couldn't help myself, it was so appropriate.)

    June 4, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Jason -NV


    June 4, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. Republican

    I'm definitely voting for Barack Obama. I'm truly sick of the policies of George W. Bush and his cronies. We need to restore honor to the office of the President.

    June 4, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    I hope Hillary's supporters will be able to put the good of their country over themselves. You know the differences between McCain and Obama are so substantial that, if you really supported Hillary's platform, you could never vote for McCain.

    I'm sorry so many of you feel that the Michigan and Florida decisions were unfair, but please remember that those two elections weren't supposed to count. There was never going to be a 'fair' solution to that problem.

    June 4, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. Manny

    Maybe Eddie is wrangling for the job himself. He hasn't been doing too well as the Gov of PA.

    June 4, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. John

    Picking Hillary Clinton to be VP, especially after the TRAVESTY that was her speech last night, would be far and away the biggest mistake that Obama will make in this whole process.

    How could Hillary actually look into the American peoples eyes and say that her attempts at destroying Obama was just political posturing... actually that would be right up her alley.

    And for all those "democrats" that are claiming they are leaving the party because their candidate lost, first, your picture should be placed next the term "sore loser" and second, in case you haven't noticed this primary season, there are 4 people lined up to replace everyone of you.

    Our time is now.... President Obama.

    June 4, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  11. the other jd

    Listen-enough of the right wingers on this blog with their "Hillary or McCain" prentending to be Dems. Dems will unify behind Obama. Hillary will not run as an independent. Enough already.

    June 4, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. pk

    "Woman inspires us to great things, and prevents us from achieving them."

    June 4, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Patricia

    The hearts of Hillary supporters are crushed and our minds are confused by the thoughtless actions of the DNC and the super delegates. Surely, Hillary has learned a lot about the people that stabbed her in the back. Bill Richardson is a glaring example of a lost human being that does not care about the country. He cares only about his own self-serving agenda.

    Florida and Missouri will never be settled in my mind and the DNC should be ashamed of their brainless actions! Obama knew he would be done if a revote had taken place! I and many other Hillary supporters are very angry about how she was treated in this campaign.

    If I were she, I would run as an independent!

    June 4, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Bob from FL

    Hillary supporters do not betray your candidate, stab her in the back and go against her saying that we must do everything to make sure republicans lose. This is our time, This is America's time to shine and, whether you call those advocacies of our candidate, speeches of hope and progress, or shams of false change you are a democrat and you agree with Hillary's issues and Obamas. As Democrats we as a nation united must rise up and transcend the negativity that has terribly affected the race for the highest position in the world and we must join, hand in hand to cast our votes TOGETHER for that candidate which best represents us. Thank you and god bless you


    June 4, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. AJ - TN

    Hillary is done. I had hoped she would be gracious in her speech last night but she blew it. We have watch a great woman evolve into a sad self-absorbed soul. What I don't understand how anyone who voted for Hillary can go out say they will vote for McCain. With everything that Hillary Clinton stands for, you actually bring yourself to vote for McCain. How could her supporters identify with John McCain. Time to get over it, and unity. Otherwise, you get what you deserve by voting for McCain. I will say once again...(what I've said of GW Bush) I didn't vote for him...so if you love this country get behind the democratic nominee and let's get on with business making of a change we all deserve. Be mad for now, but get out there and vote Democrat.

    June 4, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. Bryan

    I think the Clinton will be like a wieght pulling Obama down. The republicans will dig up all them skeletons they have. From the white water to NAFTA. I am from Michigan and I don't see my state going for those Clintons by what they done to. So in election that counts poeple will remember that Michigan use to have jobs with no end in sight.I guess she could have us all work for Walmart. So I say Obama stand stronge against the Clintons backdoor stronge arm tactics to get back in the White House at all cost.........

    June 4, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. DAN

    When she wins the nomination in Denver I don't think she should pick him as VP. There are alot more competant African Americans than Obama. He doesn't even know who liberated Auschwitz and thinks there is 57 states. Please!

    June 4, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. An Independent

    Though my preference was Barack Obama, I've never been a Hillary Clinton hater. Had she been the nominee, I'd have gladly voted for her. HOWEVER, if she sabotages Obama's campaign in the fall and we have to endure another four years with a Republican president more worried about satisfying the right wingers than doing what's right for the country – and who knows how many years with a right-wing Supreme Court, THEN I will be a Hillary Clinton hater (just as I became a Ralph Nader hater after he played a major part in us having to suffer for 8 years under George W. Bush).

    With many of her strongest supporters saying the contest is over, I have to wonder what damage she's doing to her political future by continuing on at this point. We might well be witnessing a self-destruction here.

    Pchapin, allowing Michigan and Florida to get even 1/2 votes was a gift to Senator Clinton. According to the rules in place at the time of those primaries, NO delegates should have been awarded to anyone. All candidates agreed that Michigan wouldn't count and that they'd withdraw their names. All of them kept their promise EXCEPT Hillary Clinton. I cannot see how any logical, fair person could think that awarding delegates to Senator Clinton, but none to Senator Obama given the circumstances is even remotely fair.

    June 4, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. Electricmen

    If I read all his comments, in every senstence he is saying HILLARY is more charismatic , more capable, and will outshine OBAMA. and will upstage OBAMA even she tried not to.

    Democratic part has a problem in Hand. He is clearly telling, whatever be his motive, that OBAMA need a LESS capable person on his ticket. ( and by inference democrats has choosen the weaker candidate! Was he thinking when he was saying that?)

    Rendell wants he or someone else to be his VP..by saying Hillary is too good.

    Hillary did nothing against Barak Obama personally, She was runnning againt him, so she has to tell she is better then the other person, show where other person is weak.

    Same thing Barak did, by painting Hillary as old politics. Becuase of his "new" politics sales pitch, he was forced to be a bit more restained, to sell his "change" mantra.

    Truth is , Hillary or Barak, there would be change, is that not true?

    Let me know If I got this wrong!

    June 4, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. Amy Kathleen

    With her allusions to RFK, we can all see what Clinton is holding on and hoping for, and that's pretty vicious. If she is on a joint ticket with him, he better hire a food taster... But seriously, Obama comes with his own political baggage, and it would be stupid to heap the catastrophe that is Billary on top of that. Separately they might make it, together they are dead in the water.

    June 4, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. Charlotte

    Hillary, do not quit!!! Wait until the nomination is official. It will not be official until the convention in Denver.

    June 4, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. Linda

    Caroline Kennedy next president after Obama's eight years. A lady with grace and style.

    June 4, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  23. Chris

    HILLARY CAN'T GO INDEPENDENT !! It is way too late. She will barely get in any state ballots.

    Just bow out and be the head of Director of Health

    June 4, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. Brian

    Nonsense like this makes me sick.

    This is the democratic process at work, folks. If Florida and Michigan voters feel disenfranchised, they have only their state's political representatives to blame. The DNC didn't "give" anything to anyone.

    The "Hillary is a witch", "Barack is a Communist", "If not Hillary, go McCain" talk is rarely justified and yet painfully overused.

    Vote for the person whom you believe will lead and improve our great nation, folks. Stop the bickering.

    June 4, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    Rosen, Rangal and now Rendell. Hmmmmm. Hillary, what are you thinking???? Do you remember the promise that you made? You said that you would campaign your heart out for Obama if he was the nominee. He is now the Democratic nominee. Please do what is right and endorse him and campaign your heart out for him. There would have been much more respect for you had you acknowledged that Obama won the nomination last night. What you did last night was very self serving and disrespectful. Please do the right thing, I want to respect you. The world is watching.

    Women for Obama, 08

    June 4, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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