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June 09, 2016

Rendell throws cold water on Liberals' dream for Warren VP

Former Pa. governor says freshman senator lacks needed experience

Elizabeth Warren's Twitter jabs at Donald Trump and impassioned Senate floor speeches have fueled speculation that the freshman senator from Massachusetts could be presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's pick for vice president.

Not so fast, says former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell.

Speaking to 1210 WPHT radio Wednesday, Rendell, who is currently serving as chair of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention, said Warren isn't ready for the job should she be elected on a Clinton ticket.

Rendell praised Warren but said her lack of foreign policy experience and short tenure in the Senate rule her out as a potential choice. He later called back in to the station to clarify even further, noting Warren's shortcomings are essentially the same reasons he couldn't be VP.

BuzzFeed has a transcript of Rendell's comments:

"I know Secretary Clinton pretty well. I’m not an insider in the campaign but I know her pretty well. I think she will not pick somebody that she feels in her heart isn’t ready to be president or commander-in-chief and I think 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.”

“I didn’t want it to leave it hanging out there about Elizabeth Warren,” he said. “Elizabeth Warren’s problem would be the same problem I’d have. Let’s assume someone said consider Governor Rendell for vice president. I have no experience militarily, no experience in foreign affairs, and would be a difficult choice because if anything happened in week one and I became president, I would be lost.”

Interestingly enough, Rendell's analysis comes at the same time Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is reportedly making a push to put Warren on the ticket. 

Reid has rethought his stance of not wanting any Democrats to leave the chamber out of fear it would hurt the party's ability to win a majority this November, sources told the Huffington PostHe's apparently growing comfortable with the prospect of another Democrat being able to keep Warren's seat.

The Post has more on Warren's appeal as VP:

She’s an outspoken populist-progressive who could rally supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to Clinton’s cause. Her grassroots fundraising prowess is legendary and could offset whatever loss of campaign revenue came from financial industry leaders souring on Clinton. And Warren’s appeal goes far beyond the Sanders camp: A January 2015 focus group of independents and Republicans found that she and her message resonate strongly with working and middle class voters of all stripes.

Offsetting Clinton's low favorability ratings could prove valuable, and her penchant for going into attack-dog mode on Trump could make her a useful weapon in the general election. Trump, after all, isn't much more popular than Clinton; Pennsylvania voters seem to think the Phillie Phanatic would be a better president than the presumptive Republican nominee.