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

Ed is here on behalf of Building America’s Future, the organization focused on rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Ed tells Rohatyn that the key to getting something done is to get the conversation out of Washington and put it in front of the American people. To that end, Ed imagines a “Swift Boat” strategy—raising money for one provocative commercial that will then go viral and put the nation’s massive infrastructure needs on everyone’s mind. For half an hour he passionately makes his pitch, and by the end, Rohatyn says he’ll not only write a check, but attempt to persuade other Wall Streeters­ to do so as well.

Riding back down in the elevator, Ed says, “If I were independently wealthy, I’d do NBC, my sports stuff, Brookings and BAF. That’s it.” They’re the closest he can get to the action these days—the action that has been so much a part of his life for four decades. Unless he really does get a crack at running Hillary’s campaign. Real action.

In the car, Ed calls Jesse in Florida about some changes in the Daily News column. “Jess, are you on the links?” he asks.

Father and son discuss the column, and Ed likes Jesse’s idea for changing the intro. “I’m fine with all that. All right, have fun,” he says. Then, just before hanging up, “Say hello to Mom for me.”

BY SIX O’CLOCK, we’re back in Philadelphia, cruising down 95. Ed instructs Dave to get off at Aramingo, and we begin cutting through North Philly. The neighborhoods roll past—some of the grittiest blocks in the city—and Ed looks out the window, remembering. “When I was D.A., I used to drive up here all the time,” he says. And then, a little wondrously, “It’s hard to believe I ever drove myself.”

Dave keeps making rights and lefts. I joke that if someone were trying to tail us, we surely would have lost them by now. Ed laughs. “God, if somebody tailed me now, they’d be deeply disappointed. I work all the time. I have no personal life….”

We pull up near Ed’s house, and I get out. Maggie and Ginger are waiting anxiously inside, but Ed has an errand to run before he can see them. The Crown Vic speeds off down Midvale Avenue as Ed goes to buy himself another Hormel turkey dinner.

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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!