Ed Rendell and His Bitches

Why is the most important Philadelphian of the past 25 years eating microwave dinners at home alone with his golden retrievers? Because a man’s life changes. That’s why

It’s four o’clock in the morning, and the former governor of Pennsylvania is standing on the back steps of his new East Falls bachelor pad, trying to get the girls he spent the night with to stop making so much noise.

“Shhh!” he shushes, as the girls—who both clearly love Ed Rendell—squeal.

“Quiet!” he whispers again. Jesus, they’re gonna wake the neighbors.

I hear this hubbub as I’m walking up Ed’s driveway. Feeling a little awkward, I decide I should at least let the Governor know I’m here.

“Guv,” I whisper into the darkness. “It’s Tom.”

The girls go crazy again.

“Tom, stay in the car!” Ed says. “You’re riling up the pooches.”

I slink back down the driveway as Ed Rendell hustles Maggie and Ginger—his two beloved, if noisy, golden retrievers—back into the house.

The girls, of course, are the reason the Governor and I are awake at this ungodly hour. At 7 a.m. Ed is due in New York on the set of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, one of the jobs he’s taken in his new, post-gubernatorial life. Under normal circumstances, he would have gone to New York the night before, but these are not normal circumstances. Ed’s wife, Midge, from whom he recently separated and with whom he shares custody of the dogs, is on vacation this week in Florida with the couple’s 31-year-old son, Jesse, so Ed didn’t feel right hightailing it out of town for the night and leaving the dogs by themselves. “I don’t care about them pooping in the house,” he’ll say later, referring to the modest-sized place (much of it outfitted in ’70s decor) he began renting in late January. “I just don’t like to leave them alone that long.”

At 4:05 a.m. Ed emerges from the house in a familiar blue suit and red tie. I’m in the driveway with Dave Myers, a dark-haired state trooper whose low-key demeanor contrasts with Ed’s near-constant boisterousness. Dave has been one of Ed’s drivers for the past eight years, and he’ll continue in that role until the summer, when Ed will finally have to give up his security detail. Having a driver is nice—though if you’re looking for a sign that Ed isn’t governor anymore, you just need to see what he’s being driven around in. Ed the Governor was chauffeured in a shiny black Cadillac; Ed the Former Governor gets a decade-old dark blue Crown Victoria with cloth seats and crappy suspension.

Ed apologizes for the dog dustup as he puts his jacket in the trunk of the Crown Vic. “They’re great watchdogs—although they’d probably lick an intruder to death,” he notes wryly. Then he stuffs himself into the front seat, and we’re off to New York.

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  • Amanda

    A story about Ed Rendell is usually not appealing to me. The title and first few sentences drew me in and I couldn’t stop reading. Although it’s not Shakespeare, I loved every word of it it…especially the title!

  • Diana

    That picture is the most disturbing thig I’ve ever seen.

  • Mandy May

    I loved reading this story. The writer managed to turn an article which would normally be boring into something funny and intriguing. After reading the story I have a new perspective on Ed Rendell…and his bitches!