Oy vey, Rendell

After I was elected to the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee, a friend of mine on the state committee sent me a copy of the bylaws for the state party. Today, I find the following passage of particular interest:SECTION 2. Only duly registered and enrolled Democratic electors shall be eligible to serve as members or officers of any of the committees provided in Section 1 of this rule.

(a) No person shall be eligible to serve as a member or officer of any Democratic committee as provided in Section 1 of this rule who:(...)

(3) by voice, vote, financial support or otherwise has, within two years, supported a candidate in a general or special election opposed to the duly nominated candidate of the Democratic Party in that election, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this Section. While Governor Rendell is not technically violating this section, with his recent remarks on Santorum, he comes very close to doing so:Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) has confounded his party with some recent comments about Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). He recently told the Weekly Standard that Santorum "has proven that he gets the job done. Time and time again he has come through." Rendell later praised Santorum again to the Philadelphia Inquirer: "How could I be tearing a new rear end for someone who worked effectively to get flood relief for Pennsylvania?"

The Inquirer reports that Rendell officially supports challenger Bob Casey (D) and plans to campaign for him, but that Santorum is already running radio ads in Philadelphia highlighting Rendell's remarks. Why is Governor Rendell saying positive things about Rick Sanotrum in the Weekly Standard? For that matter, why is Governor Rendell giving an interview with the Weekly Standard at all? Now Rick Santorum is using those comments in his ads. Of course, I am talking about a Democrat who went on Fox News in order to support Samuel Alito during the confirmation hearings and repeat the talking points Republicans were using about Democrats during those hearings. I am also talking about someone who was openly a member of the Fainthearted Faction during the Social security fight. Whatever lesson Democrats in DC may or may not learn from the Connecticut Senate primary, I wonder sometime how long it will take that lesson to filter down from DC and back into Pennsylvania.

This is a huge, huge, huge mistake by Rendell. Rick Sanotrum is closing the gap on Casey because he has gone on the air first. This isn't particularly worrying because it is a common phenomenon in politics: the candidate who goes ont eh air first often receives a boost. However, it is worrying because of Santorum's ridiculous war chest that should allow him to stay on the air pretty much continuously between now and Election Day. Fortunately, Casey has a lot of money too and we scored some points with the base this week by pointing out that the Green Party of Pennsylvania is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. In the meantime, we do not need to show that the communications apparatus of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania is operated by the same people who run the Republican shop. I do not care what 1990's school of triangulation politics Governor Rendell comes from, the simple fact is that he has consistently performed better than other Democrats in the state, and his consistent willingness to talk up Republicans and talk down Democrats is a major reason for this. He has no problem benefiting himself at the expense of his fellow Democrats. When I attended my first state committee meeting back in June, the party leaders repeatedly hammered the concept of "loyalty" to us newbies. Quite frankly, after seeing Governor Rendell do something like this yet again, I don't think that we were the ones who need to learn that lesson.

Tags: Bob Casey, Ed Rednell, Governors 2005-2006, Media, PA-Gov, PA-Sen, Rick Santorum, Senate 2006 (all tags)

Comments

31 Comments

Re: Oy vey, Rendell

Just out of curiosity, can you share what the "Paragraph C" exception is?

by njfellow 2006-08-07 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell
"Those Democratic candidates who cross-file for an office in which cross filing is permitted by law and Democratic candidates running as write-ins and those persons supporting such candidates are exempt from paragraph (a) of this Section."

I didn't post it because it was getting pretty long as it was.
by Chris Bowers 2006-08-07 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

thanks... i just think all of these inter party documents are pretty interesting...

by njfellow 2006-08-07 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

Sounds like Rendell is suffering from the dreaded Lieberman's Disease.

by global yokel 2006-08-07 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

DLC-itis..

by Joe in Wynnewood PA 2006-08-07 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

This is definitely the next guy who should get the "Lieberman treatment!"

Don't forget that he was the first Democrat who said that Gore should concede the election in 2000. And guess what, he was DNC chairman at the time.

He's got to go!

by JackBourassa 2006-08-07 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell
Looking at the futures market. .  .
  1. Is Rendell term limeted as governor, and is his upcoming 2nd term his last?
  2. Besides him, who else can run for the 2010 Senate seat which will probably be open?
by Trowaman 2006-08-07 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell
he is term limited. Many people could run in 2010. Who knows, maybe even one of our netroots candidates, so they win in 2006.
by Chris Bowers 2006-08-07 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

My assumption remains that Casey runs for the seat in 2010 and abandons the Senate, with Rendell getting to crown a replacement.  Of course, Specter's Senate seat is up again that same year, but assuming he remains healthy, I'd predict he's safer in 2010 than he was in 2004.

I don't know whether Murphy/Murphy/Sestak are interested in executive office -- you might want to look at the state legislative level, and people like Connie Williams or young guys like Josh Shapiro and Daylin Leach to take the next step up.

by Adam B 2006-08-07 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

Casey's not going to abandon the senate seat to run for governor. That's not his style.

Connie Williams, Daylin Leach and Josh Shapiro are too unknown and inexperienced to run for governor. The same with the Murphys and Sestak. Look for someone like Hoeffel in 2010 to run, perhaps with Valerie Roberts as LtGov.

by phillydem 2006-08-07 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

Connie's a very nice lady & good on the issues, but a gubenatorial candidate she's not - she makes Casey look good on the stump.

I wouldn't think Daylin interested in the Governor's mansion even if he had the experience & name recognition needed.

Joe would certainly be a possibility - and Rendell owes him a ton of fundraising time at this point. Allyson Schwartz would be a possibility as well I would think. Don't know who out west might throw their hat in the ring.

by Joe in Wynnewood PA 2006-08-07 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Hafer?

Maybe Barbara Hafer will see 2010 as her last chance and go for it.

by phillydem 2006-08-07 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

I'm friends with Joe, so it's hard for me to be objective about this.  I just have to wonder whether his new post in the administration gives him enough of a springboard that he can start fundraising in 2-3 years for a gubernatorial bid.

I'd predict Schwartz as being more likely to run for Senate than Governor.

by Adam B 2006-08-08 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

Whatever lesson Democrats in DC may or may not learn from the Connecticut Senate primary, I wonder sometime how long it will take that lesson to filter down from DC and back into Pennsylvania.

Ah, you feel my pain.  For the record, I think that the only thing the Dems in D.C. will learn from CT is how not to have it ever happen in PA.  But we knew that when Casey, who's worse than Lieberman, was anointed and finally shoved down our throats in May, didn't we?   This is why some of us were so sad that the same bloggers who came out for Lamont in such a huge way didn't do the same (or anything even remotely the same) for either of the candidates running against Casey in the primary.  

We have to fight the fights we can't win as well as the ones we can.

by eRobin 2006-08-07 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

rendell has been mentioned as a presidential candidate since he took philadelphia out of bankruptcy. this crappy support for santorum may be designed to strenghtn his credentials for a national run.

by MrT 2006-08-07 07:57AM | 0 recs
Yeah

This was extremely dumb. And coming from a savvy politician like Rendell this is really disappointing. I would hope that Casey goes on TV with a strong statement from Rendell rebutting what he said earlier.

Sometimes I wonder if Democrats just like losing.

by jiacinto 2006-08-07 08:02AM | 0 recs
Western PA

I hope Rendell realizes at some point that kissing up to Santorum won't win as many points as he think he will in Western PA. Santorum is a joke and only appealing to the partisan crowd.

by Pravin 2006-08-07 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Western PA

It was my first thought that Rendell was pandering to Southwestern PA voters, but after his arrogant remarks about the pay raise - I am now convinced Rendell is another out-of-touch politico who isn't loyal to anyone but himself.

by pablue 2006-08-07 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

A lot of ordinary Democrats have supported Rendell just because he has a "D" after his name. The trouble is, there's also an "LC" after the "D" in the case of him and the many other Zellocrats still in the Democratic party.

The sooner more ordinary Democrats finally realize that the DLC and its members are toxic to the party, the sooner it can become Democratic again

by Sitkah 2006-08-07 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell
Gee want to bet Casey, if elected, follows the same pattern.
These rethuglican lites just can't help helping their political models.
by Rational 2006-08-07 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: That's our Ed

Rendell is above all a pragmatist. He likes accomplishing things more than being a partisan attack dog (he has people, like his ex-CoS David Cohen, who do that for him). It's this kind of willingness to work with whoever he needs to, to get his agenda accomplished that has allowed him to push the progressive agenda forward in Pennsylvania. Forget the pay raise, which, FTR, was the price the GOP-controlled legislature demanded to sign on to his budget, that's not important. What is important is that Rendell got through an increase in the minimum wage, vetoed the Republican attempt to discriminate against urban voters by making all voters show a photo ID, and got Katie McGinty, one of the best DEP secretaries the state has ever had, appointed despite major opposition from the Rs in the legislature among other things. Rendell is helping make this state a leader in alternative energy production and technology. Since Ed became governor, he's helped revive the state Democratic party. The last big statewide judicial elections we had, Dems took 3 of 4 seats and only missed getting the last one by a 100+ votes. Dems have won the last 2 special elections in the state house, something that hadn't in many, many years.
Democrats are organized and enthusiastic in PA now
and that's to Rendell's credit.

So don't overreact to Rendell's comments, it's just him patting Santorum on the head for doing his job. Rendell is going to cut ads for Casey, campaign with him and do fundraisers.

Santorum is stuck at 39%, he is toast.

by phillydem 2006-08-07 10:28AM | 0 recs
My be not an idiot, but idiocy even so

Rendell is entitled to his opinions, and to "get things done", but how to explain this!  Isn't Casey his fellow right-wing Democrat (luckily, right wing of Dems, not overall)?  So Pennachio was torpedoed as "to left-wing for PA" -- meaning to left-wing for the leaders of the state party -- so not the candidate PREFERRED by the leaders is not supported?

And what did Santorum did for PA that would go beyond elementary pork-barrel that he is supposed to procure for his own damn good?  I am not saying that Rendell should personally bedmouth Santorum while he seeks support for this or that.  But if he does not want to say anything bad about that right wing extremist, he should just shut up.

by Piotr 2006-08-07 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: That's our Ed

So after saying nice things about santorun he's going to campaign for another anti-choice,
pro gun murder, pro reactionary supreme court candinate?

Gee this isn't much of a leap from a rethuglican wingnut to a rethuglican lite wingnut.

Wouldn't it be nice to actually have a democrat on the ballot instead of a rethuglican v. rethuglican lite?

by Rational 2006-08-07 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

Another comment: if you think that Rendell always tried to be clean and non-partisan, you did not see the mudslide during his election campaign.  If it concerns his election, he can be a junkyard dog, thank you very much.  I am not saying that he should not, just that he is not a convent girl that could not say a cuss word if her life depended on it.

by Piotr 2006-08-07 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

Where did I say Rendell tried to be clean and non-partisan? I said his overwhelming instinct is toward pragmatism that helps him achieve his agenda.

Rendell can be mean and partisan when the occassion demands it, but that's not his perferred way to operate.

by phillydem 2006-08-07 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Rendell picked Casey

Casey is Rendell's candidate all the way. The comments about Santorum were just Rendell saying that Rick did his job and helped the state secure funds. Yeah, we PA Dems did roll our eyes, but it's
just Ed being Ed and there's no sense in getting all upset about it. Ed's supporting Casey, don't
worry.

FTR, Pennachio got 7% of the primary vote which is a pretty sound rejection by the voters.

by phillydem 2006-08-07 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

I admit that when I read this sentence: "How could I be tearing a new rear end for someone who worked effectively to get flood relief for Pennsylvania", I though that Rendell implies that one should not replace (or tear away) someone who is so good for the state, but upon the second meaning, I realized I do not understand it at all.  What does it mean to "tear a new rear end for someone"?

Perhaps if you have to praise someone whom you should not, one should do in using incomprehensive gibberish.  But perhaps this phrase is deeply evocative, and I am just not familiar with it.

by Piotr 2006-08-07 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

second reading, not second meaning

by Piotr 2006-08-07 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

that's the problem with you in the "NUTROOTS" community . . . you are so stalinist in your outlook that you make it difficult for any democratic candidate to attract independent and swing voters. look where rendell is in the polls ...outta sight!  by the way, santorum is also closing.

i was very proud of rendell supporting alito...and don't think a lot of  republican/italian votes in phila. and throughout the state are going his way

by epic610 2006-08-07 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

you have to be kidding...

ok, lets say we give you alito-- hypothetically, it was politically beneficial for rendell to support alito... ok, but how does ANYONE benefit from rendell supporting SANTORUM except senator doglove himself?

now forget about my hypothetical concession with alito-- it seems that you have completely contradicted yourself... how did it help rendell supporting alito (despite your being "proud" of him) if he's still not getting republican/italian voters, as you say in your last sentence...

by the way, why are you proud of him for supporting alito? do you have something against the bill of rights, or are you just a republican?

as for the nutroots, check out ben chandler, stephanie herseth, ben nelson, robert byrd, and many other wishy-washy "moderate" candidates that have been supported by progressive internet organizers... your argument is pretty hollow.

it's simply about hurting the brand....

by njfellow 2006-08-07 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Oy vey, Rendell

y'all might not want to admit this, but Santorum has been the most effective senator from Pennsylvania from at least 1950.

True, Harris Wofford was the finest human being we have ever had in the senate from pa. , but he was only in office a short time.

santorum has done more for pa than any of the others, including hugh scott who even though he was minority leader, did very little for the state.

santorum is the first pa senator in over a century to serve on the agriculture committee, pa's largest industry.

rendell was being completely honest; he didn't endorse santorum, but gave him his proper due...his "props" if you will.

by epic610 2006-08-08 07:35AM | 0 recs

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