[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.”