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Rendell not considering jobs not offered

Tribune-Review
| Friday, November 14, 2008 12:00 a.m

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell reiterated today that he will not accept a position he has not been offered in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration.

Veering wildly off-topic at a news conference on an entirely unrelated matter in the Keystone State, Rendell told reporters he would not seriously listen to any unextended occupational overtures until after his current term expires in January 2011.

“That German chemical company deciding to set up its American operation in the Lehigh Valley is important, sure, but you probably are all still wondering if I would seriously consider joining the Obama White House,” Rendell said.

“Since you were about to ask anyway, let me say that my stance has not changed since yesterday. Although I am flattered by all the interest in this matter, there is too much work remaining here in Pennsylvania for me to even think about leaving for a job offer that has not been made.”

Following the Nov. 4 presidential election, Rendell consistently has downplayed speculation by Rendell that Obama might tempt him to cut short his second term to join the incoming president’s team.

Rendell’s name surfaced briefly as a possible candidate for transportation secretary. But because he supported New York Sen. Hillary Clinton over Obama in the contentious fight for the Democratic nomination, Rendell’s name is believed to have been floated by political rivals having fun at his expense.

Rendell hasn’t been publicly mentioned for a possible job by Obama, anyone associated with his transition team or the custodian who empties the wastebaskets in the transition team’s headquarters in the Liberty Square building in Washington.

“I’ve seen a lot of different names in the mounds of discarded paperwork I dispose of every night after everyone goes home — people like Colin Powell, Chuck Hagel, Dick Luger, Bill Richardson,” said Wendell Walters Jr., Liberty Square director of custodial services.

“A fella named Rendell, though• Doesn’t ring a bell. Who is he again?”

Obama transition team spokesman Harrison Vickers would not directly address whether Rendell might not be in line for a cabinet post.

Said Vickers: “While we certainly can’t comment on the specific people we aren’t considering for various positions, Gov. Rendell clearly would be a quality addition to that list.”

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