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Barack Obama should tap the "real thing" for veep, Ed Rendell says

May 14, 2008 |  1:24 pm

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who describes himself as the "last of the Mohicans" sticking by Hillary Clinton to the bitter end of the Democratic presidential primary, today endorsed the idea of a ticket that combines her with rival Barack Obama.

Pundits have speculated that a high-profile Clinton supporter -- such as Rendell -- would make a good running mate for Obama, should the Illinois senator finally lock down that party's nomination.

But Rendell says Obama shouldn't settle for a Clinton substitute.

"If Sen. Obama becomes our nominee and he wants . . . someone to carry the Clinton banner," Rendell told CNN, "there's no question in my mind they should ask Hillary Clinton to be that candidate."

Would she accept? Rendell, one of the Clinton family's closest advisors, conceded he's not sure.

"I don't know whether she would accept," he said. "I don't know whether he would do it. But don't settle for . . . a Clinton supporter. You've got the real thing, someone who has energized voters."

-- Christi Parsons

Christi Parsons writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau.