Quotable Ed

A Rendell timeline.

January 1978
Becomes district attorney of Philadelphia.

January 1986

“I believe, prior to my coming in, the [D.A.’s] office had established a reputation that the fate of cases could be altered by outside influences, whether they be political, businesses or unions. I set out to change that. My harshest critics say I met and kept my promise.”

May 1986
Loses gubernatorial primary to Robert P. Casey.

May 1987
Loses his bid for mayor of Philadelphia. “Blacks felt that history demanded that they stick with the first black mayor. And with the white turnout, I don’t think there was anything we could have done differently to light that spark.”

January 1992
Becomes mayor of Philadelphia.

First Term
“A good portion of my job is spent on my knees, sucking people off to keep them happy.”

Early 1994

“When you think of all the great leaders in history, David Lloyd George, Konrad Adenauer—and just in America alone, FDR, JFK … even Dwight, everybody’s grandfather, was having a long-running affair with one of his attachés.”

September 1994

“I think we made some real progress in terms of city problems. [But the city’s problems are] so significant that we will need every day of an additional four years to make the headway I want to make.”

November 1995

Reelected to a second term.
“I think it was a ‘thank-you’ for a job well done.”

August 1996
At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago: “This lame duck set Philadelphia right for the next century. Everywhere around the country, they’re saying great things about me. Everywhere but … in Philadelphia.”

January 1998

“I’m not at all embarrassed when I lose my temper. That happens. And frankly, given the level and quality of press coverage and the way public officials are harassed, I’m surprised I don’t lose my temper more with the press.”

September 1999

Becomes chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

December 2000
During the presidential election, his advice to Al Gore before Gore threw in the towel: “Act now and concede.”

May 2002

Wins the Democratic nomination for governor. “Last February, when I started out, nobody thought I had a chance to win because I was the Philadelphia candidate, and experts said no Philadelphian could ever be elected governor in this state.”

January 2003

Becomes governor.

November 2004

“Oh, no question. George Bush is al-Qaeda’s best recruiting tool, not only in Iraq, but all around the world.”

August 2006

“I’ve had for almost 30 years in public office, if you count my time as an assistant district attorney, the ability to make positive changes in people’s lives. And it’s impossible to put a dollar figure on that. Like the commercial says, it’s priceless.”

October 2006

Runs against Lynn Swann and is reelected the following month. “Five governors in 30 years promised property tax relief. I delivered.”

December 2008

On Janet Napolitano’s nomination for Secretary of Homeland Security: “Janet’s perfect for that job, because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19, 20 hours a day to it.”

August 2009

On his weight loss: “I thought this would give me something to strive for, something positive that I could see happening compared to the lack of progress with the budget.”

July 2010

Denying rumors that he’s having an affair: “You know, like a lot of people in politics, I get hit on by women all the time.”