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

He looks back over at the young brunette. “I’m trying to figure out what that woman is,” he says. “She’s doing most of the talking.”

Ed knows a lot of people—a lot of very important and impressive people. Just in the time I’m with him, he’ll make reference to his friendships with everyone from Warren Buffett and Bill Clinton to Michael Bloomberg and Morgan Fairchild (with whom he’s having dinner when he’s in L.A.). All these people really are part of Ed’s orbit now—they’re all inhabitants of Ed World. And what also saves Ed from sounding like an obnoxious name-dropper is the fact that so many people with no status are part of Ed World, too.

His state troopers, for example. Ed notes he probably spent more time in the past eight years with members of his security detail than he did with anyone else—driving all over Pennsylvania, stopping in small towns and midsized cities, eating at greasy spoons. And there’s no doubt that troopers bring out the more—how should I put this?—juvenile side of Ed.

“One of my great coups in the 2008 presidential primary was getting what I call the ‘diner ladies’ to endorse Hillary,” he says, launching into one of his favorite trooper tales. “They’re six women from Pittsburgh who own diners. First of all, they’re bawdy as can be. They came on a little bit to me, but they really loved one of our troopers. But he turned them down. He said one of his prerequisites for sleeping with a woman is that she has to have all her teeth.”

Dave and I crack up. (I know—but you sort of check your sensitivity at the door when you’re with Ed.) “Another one of our guys has a slogan,” Ed says. “At two o’clock she may be a 10, but at … wait, what is it again, Dave?”

This is not Dave’s slogan, but he knows it anyway. “She may be a 2 at 10, but she’s a 10 at two,” he says.

Which reminds Ed of another story. One night, one of his staffers was leaving the Governor’s Mansion late, at 11:30 p.m. At that hour a guard has to let you out, so the staffer knocked on the door of the troopers’ office—only to discover that the trooper on duty had a woman inside. “And then another time he had one of my golden retrievers inside the office,” Ed says, laughing. “We interrogated Ginger to find out what happened, but she wasn’t talking. Who knows? She might have liked it.”

THE DAY BEFORE, Ed had invited me over to his office at the Bellevue, a modest three-room suite that fits Ed’s new operation. For eight years as governor, Ed had 78,000 people working for him; now he has four. There’s Kirstin, who’s basically Ed’s right hand in everything he does; Kaylan Dorsch, the office manager and scheduler; Alex Ficken, a Ballard Spahr-employed law student who helps Ed with his legal work; and Ed’s son, Jesse, a lawyer who’s helping out around the office until he gets some cash flow going in his burgeoning entertainment business.

After watching Ed in a couple quick political meetings with Senator Bob Casey and State Representative Josh Shapiro, I went next door and sat down with Kirstin­ Snow. She’s a tall, striking woman with long blond hair, and on first impression she seems like the kind of girl who raised her hand a lot in school and knew all the answers. (She has a PhD in business administration.) But she’s also funny and tough, and she can give as good as she gets, which is likely why she gets along so well with Ed.

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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!