Ed Rendell: Hillary Would Have Been a More Effective President than Obama
June 7, 2012 - 9:00 am
Rendell will undoubtedly come out with a “clarification” any minute now, but his latest comments dovetail with Bill Clinton’s recent comments and leave no doubt that the Clinton faction of the Democratic Party is at war with the flailing Obama faction.
The former governor of Pennsylvania and former DNC head has floated what can only be described as a stark shot at President Obama’s competence.
CHARLIE ROSE: You supported Hillary Clinton strongly. Do you think we would be in a different place if she’d been elected?
RENDELL: I think she would have come in with a lot more executive experience. I think the president was hurt by being a legislator only. For example, health care and the stimulus, two bills that I think did good things for the American people, too much of it was left up to the Congress. He sort of said ‘Here’s my concept, you guys flesh it out.’ I think Hillary Clinton would have sat down with a bill and said ‘Here’s what I want.’
There’s much to argue with in Rendell’s take. Hillary Clinton, like Barack Obama, had only held elective office as a legislator. She had no meaningful executive experience prior to 2008 apart from perhaps running the office of the first lady. The “would have sat down with a bill” comment highlights Hillary’s own imperious style, which became a problem for her own campaign in 2008. The fact is, the Democrats had a host of legislators atop their nominations process in 2008, and that process was destined to nominate a legislator with little to no executive experience, and the Democrats nominated the least experienced of the group. Would Hillary have been better than Obama? Maybe, maybe not, but she does believe in the same sort of state-centered economic policies that Obama has championed, and which have failed.
Nevertheless, Rendell is an Obama surrogate now. He has already distanced himself from the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital. In this clip, he is voicing buyer’s remorse over Obama’s election. Elsewhere in the same interview, he also said that Pennsylvania is probably in play for Romney this fall. These are strong signals that the center-left faction of the Democratic Party is readying to distance itself from a debacle in the fall.