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. Brooklyn Girl

    My shero! I am a strong Hillary supporter, and I understand why she held back last night. She felt that her first loyalty lied with the 18 Million people who voted for her, and not to the Democratic party that back stabbed her throughout this primary. She showed that she will not be pushed around, and that she is still a leader in the party.

    Hillary 08!

    June 4, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Gary, Charlottesville, VA

    "He is there for himself and his wife."

    Utterly amazing that a Clinton supporter could even attempt to make this claim about someone else. I don't know where you live, but its summertime and way too hot to be wearing all that wool on your face.

    June 4, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. Sandy

    Whatever she does is ok....we will wait for McCaine to eat him for breakfast. I do not think she wants his VP spot, she wants to let it play out and fall. So much for the democrats, yet again!!!

    June 4, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. Clinton Supporter

    Nice try, Nunya. Obama's people are so proud of their nasty mouths, I can't imagine one of them who isn't panting to take credit for being nasty-as-we-wanna-be.

    No, what you see is what you'll get – unless we can find a defeat him. I think the RNC is on the case as we speak.

    June 4, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. RaineyDays in Maryland

    Good point Nunya

    June 4, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Shannon

    RB TX, I think it would be more telling if the candidate was sued for campaign finance fraud than if they received money from someone who was a criminal. During her Senate run in New York, Hillary Clinton and many others received money from a drug smuggler. Once that fact was out, most of the politicians donated the money to charities. On the other hand, Hillary is currently being sued for what has been called "The biggest case of campaign finance fraud in history". Look up Paul v. Clinton.

    June 4, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. greg

    The deluded Clinton supporters continue to find any excuse to avoid their grief process. It is insane to consider that Hillary will ever run as an independent. It would be political suicide for her and Bill. Won't happen. What also won't happen is Obama selecting her for VP. Get used to it, Clintonistas - Hillary is going back to the Senate to represent NY State again. Maybe she'll retire or get voted out of office after that. One can only hope.

    June 4, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Kwad

    Looks like the delusion is spreading....

    Clinton supports are wearing me out with the constant whining.
    Its simple if your democrat vote for Obama if you like Clinton and hate Obama then stay home.
    If you vote for McCain as a Clinton supporter then I think you truly have no idea what her policies were. You obviously are hurting right now I can empathize, but crying about why you lost or that it was stolen from you is just garbage. She did not manage her campaign well. She did not make good decisions. More than one person thinks she played dirty against a fellow democrat. For the people that read this and agree that she ran completely mismanaged her campaign and threw away the election – think how well she would manage as a president.
    Non stop scandal, politics as usual– some people in the united states are tired, we are tired of the bickering and the divisiveness. Which is why when a breath of fresh air comes along that does not carry out the same sorts of tactics that have managed to get us where we are today, we vote for him. I would have voted for him if he was a republican. I voted based on issues, I voted based on the interest of my children and their children. If you dont want to vote for Obama – Don't but don't say he can't win. He can and he will.

    June 4, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. MD

    Welcome to the cut-throat political scene.

    Now that Rendell thinks he might be on the "short list," he is hanging Hillary out to dry.

    June 4, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. MK ULTRA


    All you embittered Clintonites are pathetic! Enough with your day late dollar short threats already! Go on and vote for McCain I dare you! All this "he needs her more than she needs him" is such a joke. Is that so? Then why did your horse lose? Oh right that vast conspiracy? Only left wing this time?? Give me a break, Obama does not need her, please have fun throwing your vote away on McCain, and PRESIDENT OBAMA will see you in 2009 🙂


    June 4, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Marty Ohio

    Obama / Hillary is a loser. It wouldn't have a prayer of winning in November. Obama needs to pick up a big swing state. Strickland is the only VP prospect that can do that for him.

    Kerry and Gore both made the mistake of choosing a VP that could not swing a state and they both paid dearly for it. Obama would be an idiot if he didn't look for a VP that will actually win him a red state that matters.

    Ohio is the largest prize out there that he can bank on getting with a VP choice. It should be a no-brainer, all these other prospects sound really nice but they don't change the map for Obama. You have to stick to the map and not take any chances with it. This is a no-brainer.

    June 4, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Enoma

    Why is Hillary so desperate? The eight years she spent in the white house is definately enough for her. She ran a good race but should have thrown in the towel when she knew the maths wasn't on her side. A joint ticket would be disastrous for the democratic party because there can't be two captains on one ship. It's the end of the road for her and as soon as that is acknowledged the better for the Clintons. Adios

    June 4, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. Glenn, Cary, NC

    Rendell is right. Obama is the one who needs to do the bargaining, not Clinton. Winning the Democratic Party nomination is no guarantee of winning the White House. Seriously, you can look it up. He needs her supporters and to get her supporters he needs her.

    June 4, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. NanD

    Clinton lost – delegate count, superdelegate count, and yes, she LOST the popular vote – both with and without caucus states – according to the official tally...she is in no position to force herself on the ballot as the VP. What she DOES need to do is concede, which she should have done last night – at least show SOME modecum of decency and dignity.

    I understand Clinton supporters are disappointed she lost – and I feel for them. I know I would be disappointed if I were in their shoes. But the facts are the facts and do not change just because you don't like them.

    Right now, the Clinton supporters need time to adjust and heal. The Obama supporters need time for their well earned celebration. Then we all need to put our petty squabbles behind us because, in a short time, Democrats need to come together to work to put our nominee in the WH in November!

    June 4, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. John WA

    If Hillary ran as an Independent she would lose. So would Obama. Mc Cain would win. This is not what she wants. If her supporters cared about her political future and the Clinton legacy they would get behind the Dem nominee so the Clintons don't go down in history as the ones responsible for Obama losing this Presidency. Help her by encouraging her to end her campaign and graciously allow Obama to choose his VP. If it appears he is forced it will hurt them both. She will look like a hostage holding divisive woman (not good for feminists) and he will look like he is not in charge. He is in charge, if not then it's McCain. Do you want to end the war, help the economy, have health care-or do you think Hillary wants you to give it all up for spite? Please, think . Right now it is easy to be angry and hurt-but don't take it out on the county.

    June 4, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Nia

    Another voice of reason

    June 4, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. pam Eugene OR

    Bill Clinton is her biggest negative. Who would babysit him? He is still out of control. Hillary has enough problem without him. Maybe if she were willing to get a divorce it might work.

    June 4, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. Raymond Dean

    Why would you want Hilliary Clinton as your running mate? We all know that Hillary wants the number one job. You cannot have two presidents at the same time, and that would be the danger of having Hillary as vice President. She is not the only qualified person in the USA for the vice presidency, so let's choose one of them and get on to solving the problems that this country has today i.e. Medicare, Social Security inflation, having Iraq pay for their own government. Instead of the USA, etc..

    If Hillary is chosen as Obama's running mate, I will vote for George W. Bush for third term, Think about That!

    June 4, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. jerry

    Good one JC. I agree Barack should stay away from Hillary and likewise for Hillary. I do think that Hillary missed a huge oppurtunity
    last night. She will get her chance to to shine at some point but will have to earn it as far as I am concerned, she left a foul taste in my mouth from last night venture

    June 4, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. KM

    I was a supporter of Hillary up to last night. I was very disappointed for not conceding to Obama. I was expecting that she would pick the democratic party and this countery over her ambitions. I hope she will get over her disapoitment and focus on the unity of the party. Unfortunately she confirmed what Obama supprters and her critics been telling us (her supprters) that she will do anything to fulfill her ambitions on the expense of anything. She still has an opprtunity to play a leadership role and fix the damage.

    June 4, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  21. Billy

    If you cannot adhere to a simple concept, such as playing by the rules, then you shouldn't be placed on the ticket. She ran a horrible campaign; and to have the audacity to lobby for the VP spot on the ticket; where is the dignity. It is obvious who she is for. Especially claiming to lead in popular votes when Obama's name wasn't even on the ticket in Michigan. It's to wonder most of Hillary's supporters are not educated.

    June 4, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. Dayv

    Prior to last night, I though an Obama/Clinton ticket was a no-brainer. Now it seems like a bad idea. Clinton's defiance and lack of grace in defeat signals likely future insubordination and horrible team dynamics. I am right wing and would not vote for Obama due to his oposition of free trade and other left-wing economic errors (not to mention the fact that I am a Canadian;), but he has outsmarted Clinton all the way and would be unwise to link to someone with such poor sportspersonship and clear desire to undermine him. Yesterday an Obama/Cliton tag team versus McCain+anybody seemed like and unfair fight. Now the reverse is true.

    Talk about an interesting campaign. Amazing.

    June 4, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  23. GWB

    Everyone is turning on her! Yeah! Common sense and party loyalty prevail. Hillary supporters should take note. McCain will make you cry!
    Obama 08

    June 4, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  24. Tell the truth

    I agree Nunya. I'm voting for Obama but would not say anything nasty about Hillary. Be aware of the Republicans trying to divide everyone that stands for good things

    June 4, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. Venus

    Thank you! She got nerves!
    They see they can't strong arm Obama!

    After watching Hillary last night – I can't wait to see her out of the media!

    June 4, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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