Rendell says Hillary would have been more effective

There’s “off message.” And then there’s former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

First, Rendell said a number of times that it was wrongheaded for President Obama to attack Mitt Romney’s experience with the private equity firm Bain Capital.

Then, on Wednesday, he was quoted in the Huffington Post saying that Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, is very much “in play” for the Republicans; this runs counter to the CW that the state has become at least light-blue, or likely Democratic in presidential contests.

“It’s going to be a close election,” Rendell said. “The president is not going to do well in the west. He lost 11 of 12 southwestern Democratic counties in 2008, even though he won the state by 11 points.”

And today, Rendell said on CBS Morning News that Obama was hampered by a lack of executive experience and gave Congress too much power in fashioning the stimulus and health-care overhaul. The former governor said Hillary Clinton would have been more effective.