Two weeks from today, Gov. Ed Rendell will just be Ed Rendell, a private citizen like any other in East Falls.
Well, not really, considering most observers believe the former mayor and soon-to-be former governor will still be a political force to be reckoned with — something like Pennsylvania’s version of Bill Clinton.
“He’ll always be part of the mix and a major political fundraiser,” political consultant Larry Ceisler said yesterday, only hours before Rendell’s “farewell party” for supporters at the Electric Factory, where the Beach Boys played in his honor last evening.
About 800 people were invited and more than 400 showed up by 8:15 p.m. last night, according to those in attendance. Mayor Michael Nutter was among the crowd that showed up for what his political committee advertised as a “special thank you for all your help and support over the years. It was expected to be his last hurrah.
After he departs the decision making realm, Ceisler also believes there could be some Rendell withdrawal within the state’s political hierarchy.
“There’s been hardly any major decision in the last 20 years without his influence or his input,” he said. “That’s the one phrase that’s going to be missing from public policy: ‘What does Ed think?’”
Still, a spokesman for Rendell says the governor still has the state’s work to do in the short period left before incoming Republican Tom Corbett takes over the executive wing of the Capitol building in Harrisburg. His inauguration ceremony will be Monday, Jan. 17.
“His work is not done,” spokesman Gary Tuma said.