Rendell endorses Carlos Vega for D.A.

Most political endorsements, to repeat John Nance Garner’s infamous quote about the vice presidency,  are “not worth a bucket of warm piss.”

Ed Rendell’s is different. He surprised everyone Tuesday with his endorsement of Carlos Vega for district attorney.

Former Gov. Rendell proves he is not a wuss

Why is it different? The majority of Philadelphia, friend and foe alike, agree he was the most successful mayor in our lifetime. He then went on to become a successful two-term Democratic governor. That was something no Philadelphian had done in our lifetime. (Democratic Gov. Milton Shapp lived in the suburbs.)

What that means is that Rendell is liked and respected, and it further means he has thrown his political capital against the progressive candidate, Larry Krasner.

That itself doesn’t surprise me a lot, because Rendell was successful as a traditional liberal Democrat, not a lefty looney. He could not have been elected governor if the conservative parts of the state did not see in him someone who was pro business, just socially liberal enough, without being batshit.

That’s one of the reasons the national Democratic Party elected him chair — because he could talk to everyone, including Republicans.

That he did endorse was a surprise, because when I wrote a bio of  Vega in December, I asked the three living former D.A.’s to evaluate him.

Ron Castille and Lynne Abraham obliged me, Rendell never responded to me, which, frankly, hurt my feelings. After all, he had hired Vega to be an assistant district attorney.

I’ve had a good relationship with Rendell over the years — not a close one, but friendly, and I endorsed him anytime he ran for anything. I learned Tuesday from Chris Brennan that Rendell also had been ducking the political reporter for the Morning Yawn. (That’s a term I was banned from using once the Inquirer swallowed up the Daily News, my longtime home.)

Like I said earlier, most endorsements don’t mean much, including mine.

But it troubled me a bit that Rendell had turned into a wuss, a term he got in trouble for using against the NFL which cancelled an Eagles game due to a projected snowstorm. He later doubled down and authored a book titled, “A Nation of Wusses.” 

Well, I reasoned, he’s an elder statesman now, maybe he figures he shouldn’t go around picking fights, especially with the ascendant wing of the Democratic Party, the progressives.

I was wrong. Fast Eddie had calibrated at what moment his endorsement would have the greatest impact.

At a news conference at his Center City office, Rendell said he was reluctant to criticize any of his successors, but noted when violence was soaring, “You must as a city do something about it. If you don’t act, it will destroy the city.” He believes Vega will do something about it. 

Tuesday’s election is expected to be low turnout. Off-year elections usually are. 

In a Tuesday story in the Inquirer, reporters Sean Collins Walsh and Anna Corso reported that this is the first time local progressives will have to defend their ground — and Krasner’s record.

In Thursday’s Philadelphia Weekly, I write that this race is of interest to progressives nationally — as Krasner was the first D.A. to be funded by billionaire George Soros.

I expect a tight race, and in a tight race, Rendell’s blessing could bring victory. 

19 thoughts on “Rendell endorses Carlos Vega for D.A.”

  1. Did you mention that the Inqy endorsed Krasner in it’s Sunday edition? Rendell apparently waited for the newspaper before weighing in….

    I put more credibility in Rendell than the Inqy editorial board!!!!

    1. So do I and, no, I did mention that. I avoid mentioning Inky because of my nondisclosure parting agreement, and because I am suing them. I am on a tightrope.

  2. 64 years old. Been an Inquirer subscriber for 40 years. Just cancelled my subscription due to their Krasner DA endorsement.

  3. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    Very interesting to hear from Governor Rendell that the “progressives” have been going too far. It also makes the Democratic primary more interesting.

    I am pretty sure that the Governor’s endorsement will carry a good deal of weight in Democratic party circles. My impression is that his endorsement is also more in tune with President Biden’s directions of thought and policy. I noticed emphasis in recent, national TV news on the epidemic of shootings across the country. 400 over the last weekend?

    As virtually everyone knows, Philadelphia has not been immune. Governor Rendell is indeed acting the role of elder statesman, and of course, this won’t please everyone. Good for him–whether everyone agrees or not!

    H.G. Callaway

  4. “I make Atilla the Hun look like a faggot.” — Frank Rizzo
    “I’m far right, and I’d vote for Ed Rendell.” — Vince Benedict

  5. HAPPY TUESDAY !!!Stu,
    This time next Tuesday. It’s all over but the shouting !
    Fast Eddie, as we like to call him, came to Philly from your homeland. He went to school, hooked onto a sweetheart named Midge and started climbing the ladder. It took an outsider to clean up Philly, and as you pointed out, he did good out in the ‘burg !
    Never one to take the easy safe route. Rendell jumps in with both feet. He’s bucking the machine and he don’t care.
    Tony

  6. Krasner and lawlessness and gun violence are no coincidence. Watch his talk and recruiting law school seniors fir ADA positions and it’s plain to see, the only requirement is a commitment of loyalty to Larry’s/Soros/Progressives agenda. An interesting in the Law and Prosecuting crime are not a priority. Krasner must go now. He is a danger nor just to Phila. but the entire Delaware Valley. You have no idea how many local suburbanites will not venture into Philadelhia.

  7. This is just the beginning, I hope, when the people, by the people and for the people realize the Soros machine ruined the City of Philadelphia. This endorsement by Rendell will put an end to lawlessness and no bail for criminals. Philadelphia can set an example for the rest of the nation to get rid of corrupt D.A.’s and show Soros his plan to tie the hands of the court was short-lived. Mayor your NEXT.

  8. Knowing Rendell since before he ran for mayor I was not surprised by his endorsement. He was, and still is, a great person.

  9. Sorry I missed Rendell on Dom Giordano. I hope the vote turnout is good for Vega. I changed my registration to vote
    for him. Krassner must go along with his law clerks!! I cancelled The Inquirer last year after being a subscriber for
    years…sick of the bias from Front page to Sports and Real Estate and don’t miss it at all!!!
    Thanks Stu for another informative Blog. you’re the best!

  10. This was epic. Substantial. Garbo talks, territory. Krasner has been dismissed bythe adults in the room. Bravo.

    1. Hey Christine, How did that “Krasner has been dismissed by the adults in the room” work out for you

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