Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rendell on politics: "I miss it." Hint of a comeback?

Is former Gov. Ed Rendell mulling a political comeback?

Rendell on politics: "I miss it." Hint of a comeback?


Is former Gov. Ed Rendell mulling a political comeback?

His name first surfaced in a Harrisburg Patriot-News story earlier this summer that considered possible Democratic challengers to Gov. Corbett in 2014.

Some wondered if he wasn't barred from a third term by the constitution. But the constitution only stipulates that a sitting executive may not hold office for more than two consecutive terms.

Which means Rendell could in fact run for governor, or mayor of Philadelphia.

No Pennsylvania governor in modern history has served three terms. The first three governors of Pennsylvania served three consecutive terms. Later, two governors, Gifford Pinchot and Robert Pattison served non-consecutive single terms.

Rendell has always dismissed the notion of running again, for anything. When asked if he would seek a U.S. Senate or House seat, Rendell flatly said he had no interest in being part of a governing body, he was a CEO through and through.

After leaving office in 2011 he busily accumulated a smorgasboard of jobs: political analyst (name your favorite TV or cable outlet), sports commentator and columnist, lawyer, professor, board member, author.

Then on Sunday NPR host Linda Wertheimer speaking to Rendell about the upcoming Democratic National Convention asked him whether he would like to be running the show as he did as chairman of the DNC in 2000.

WERTHEIMER: So, is there any part of you that actually would like to be running the show, as you did in - was it Los Angeles in 2000, right?

RENDELL: Pretty much every waking moment and sometimes in my dreams, yeah, absolutely. The toughest thing for me is I've run things for so long. I've been a chief executive in politics for about 33, 34 years. And now I'm enjoying my life but I don't feel like I'm running anything or really doing any substantive to get things done, to get people to work, to improve our kids' educations. So, after doing what I've done for so long, it's hard and you do miss it.

So, wistful thinking on Rendell's part or a tip of the hand that he may run again?

Other Democratic names being discussed: Treasurer Rob McCord, former U.S. Rep. and Senate candidate Joe Sestak, or possibly a return run from Dan Onorato who was defeated by Corbett in 2010 by a wide (9) point margin (even Corbett wasn't sure of the spread when asked about it at a Romney rally in June).

Political analyst Terry Madonna thinks a comeback could be tough given Rendell's sagging poll numbers when he left office. But so far, no Democratic name has surged to the front of the pack, certainly in the governor's race. So it's anyone's guess right now whether we'll see the state's most visible politician on the ballot again.


Click herefor's politics page.

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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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