Pa. Governor a Risky Ally for Clinton

Blunt, gaffe-prone Rendell could make or break campaign
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2008 11:05 AM CST
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, left, seen with state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, makes remarks in Chester, Pa., Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ed Rendell could be Hillary Clinton’s greatest asset in Pennsylvania—or he could explode in her face, Politico reports. Pennsylvania’s governor is popular and authentic, and he knows how to raise money and find the state’s voters. But Rendell shoots from the hip, and often hits his foot. He once speculated, for example, that Pennsylvanian whites would not vote for Obama because he is black.

He’s also publicly criticized Clinton’s strategy following Super Tuesday. But for all that, “you certainly want to have him for you rather than against you,” said a former Rendell campaign manager. The governor wants badly to deliver Pennsylvania to Clinton the way Ted Strickland delivered Ohio. “He is rolling up his sleeves,” said one fundraiser. “He takes this as a personal challenge.”