Baer: On Elizabeth Warren, Ed Rendell, and Donald Trump

WarrenRendell
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (from left), former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

WHEN ELIZABETH Warren and Hillary Clinton campaigned together in Cincinnati this week, they raised clasped hands, looking very much like a two-gal ticket.

Lots of newsies went gaga.

NBC's Luke Russert tweeted that if you believe you win with your base turning out, "there really is no other option ... than Warren as VP."

The Boston Globe's Amanda Katz tweeted, "Want to watch a female Baby Boomer get visibly excited to canvas? Say these words: 'Clinton-Warren 2016.' "

And Peter Hamby, formerly of CNN and now head of Snapchat's news section, offered, "I'll say it again: Picking anyone other than Warren for VP makes no sense."

These are but examples. Blogs, Twitter, and cable news are filled with fervor for Warren, citing her energy and anti-Donald Trump fire as perfect contrasts to - let's be kind - the calculated cadence of Clinton.

You might think this is just knee-jerk reaction from people who live and work inside the ever-bouncing bubble of national press and politics.

One can make that case.

On the same day - Monday - ABC News reported on a CNN poll showing that more than one-quarter of registered voters have never heard of Warren, and that more than half of Democratic voters and Democrat-leaning independents think Clinton should pick someone other than Warren.

I generally think running mates and hoopla over them during campaign summers tend to make little difference come fall.

(But if it's Warren, I look forward to clever twofer headlines. When Arkansas' Bill Clinton picked Tennessee's Al Gore in 1992, the Daily News front page read: "Double Bubba.")

Still, despite Warren's past digs at Clinton for coziness with Wall Street, there's a Warren-for-VP bump. The ticket would be unique. She's clearly an energizer. She's an effective Trump foil.

But if she's Clinton's choice, you can bet Pennsylvania's favorite Democrat, Ed Rendell, finds himself frequently quoted regarding Warren.

The former governor, former Democratic National Committee chairman, and current chairman of the Democratic convention host committee said things about Warren that could make for pretty good GOP ads.

This includes comments this month on Philly's 1210 WPHT that fall into the category of OH-NO-HE-DIDN'T!

But he did: "Elizabeth Warren is a wonderful, bright, passionate person, but with no experience in foreign affairs and not in any way, shape, or form ready to be commander-in-chief."

He called the station later, I assume after getting an earful. Said he didn't mean to single out Warren and that "her problem would be the same problem I'd have."

Which is nice - except, as far as we know, nobody's vetting Ed for VP.

This week on MSNBC, after the Clinton-Warren event, Ed talked about the "drawbacks" of two women and again raised Warren's experience.

It was more subtle than his no-how-no-way comment, but also far from positive:

"The drawbacks, uh, obviously are, do two women on the ticket make a difference? I don't think so but some people might. Does Elizabeth Warren have the experience to be commander-in-chief?" This time he didn't offer an answer.

Ed, because he knows Pennsylvania well, tends to talk politics in terms of its ideological mix rather than the Democratic Party line.

This often gets him trouble, but often he's right.

Trump supporters, I suspect (and I suspect Ed suspects), would get even more fired up about voting if another woman, more liberal than Clinton, is on the ticket.

Yet if he's right on this, he's right at the risk of handing Trump another card to play in the ongoing game of asking voters to bet against Clinton's "bad judgment."

baerj@phillynews.com

Blog: ph.ly/BaerGrowls

Columns: ph.ly/JohnBaer