Ed Rendell has become one of the speculative choices in the media for Barack Obama’s running mate, and so the RNC has decided to remind people about Rendell’s reaction to Obama while he still supported Hillary Clinton. They have sent around a YouTube of Rendell castigating Obama over his remarks in San Francisco when he accused small-town Pennsylvanians specifically, and Midwestern voters generally, of clinging to guns and religion out of bitterness over failed government programs. At the time, Rendell ridiculed Obama’s rapidly-shifting responses to the controversy:
This doesn’t do much for Rendell’s chances to be on the ticket, although he might make a pretty good choice otherwise. Rendell can attract those bitter Rust Belt and Midwestern voters who foolishly cling to their 2nd Amendment rights and their more traditional Savior. Obama has to hold Pennsylvania in the fall, and McCain is making it a close race there. However, Rendell also represents the kind of politics that Obama supposedly opposes, Jim Johnson and Eric Holder notwithstanding, and one suspects that a closer look at Rendell might make that more obvious.
The RNC certainly has had plenty of time to collate all of the criticism issued against Obama by a large number of potential VP choices, and we can expect plenty of YouTubes in the future. That doesn’t mean it will keep Obama from picking former critics; Reagan selected George H. W. Bush even after the “voodoo economics” phrase stuck to Reagan. He knew he could prove it wrong and that Bush would make a good choice as a running mate. The parade of videos should still be entertaining.