For Obama, who needs enemies with friends like Ed Rendell and Doug Wilder?
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has said that President Obama could face a Democratic challenge in the 2012 presidential election. Former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder suggests that Mr. Obama should dump Vice President Joe Biden. Both are Democrats.
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But that hasn’t stopped some high-profile Democrats from thinking out loud about both possibilities.
First came Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), who suggested last week on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Obama could face a challenge from the left if he does not begin to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in July 2011, as promised.
A primary challenge “is really possible,” Governor Rendell said, without naming names. “It depends on how far [the war in Afghanistan] deteriorates.”
And by the way, Rendell also opined that Obama shouldn’t have agreed to go on “The View.“ “There's got to be a little bit of dignity to the presidency,” Rendell grumbled.
Then on Monday, CNN asked Rendell about the “potential primary challenger” thing. Oh, that. The two-term Pennsylvania governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman suggested that what he had said before wasn’t a big deal. Then he kept talking.
“There might be a challenger but it would be from the fringe wing of the party, not from any substantial challenger,” he said. “I don't think [Wisconsin Sen.] Russ Feingold is going to do it and I don't think in the end Howard will do it, although I think Howard will think about it, but I don't think he will do it.”
That would be Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, former national party chair, and a 2004 presidential candidate whose campaign took off over Iraq. No word yet on whether the thought of running in 2012 has in fact crossed Mr. Dean’s mind.
But it’s all enough to make you wonder, what’s up with Rendell? He’s always had a habit of saying what he thinks, and maybe now, in his final months in office, he’s even less guarded. And it’s not as if he was ever a huge Obama person. During the 2008 Democratic primaries, he vigorously backed Hillary Clinton.