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Rendell: 'The Media Does Not Like the Clintons'

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Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) said Monday that the media's pro-Obama (or anti-Clinton) bias explains in part why Barack Obama is portrayed as running away with the Democratic presidential nomination (instead of being locked in a close fight with Hillary Rodham Clinton).

"The media does not like the Clintons for whatever reason," Rendell, a Clinton supporter, said in an interview with The Fix. "Maybe some of it's [the Clintons'] fault, but the media does not like the Clintons."

Rendell insisted that the "media has relished this fall with glee that I have never seen in any other candidate in the thirty years I have been in the business." As a result, "Right now the senator can do no wrong," Rendell said of Obama.

His criticism of the coverage came on the same day that this photo appeared on the Drudge Report, accompanied by an e-mail purportedly written by a Clinton campaign staffer wondering aloud about a double standard in the way the two candidates were covered.

On a conference call later on Monday, a top Clinton campaign aide decried the alleged difference in the way the race is being covered. "I think it is true that every time the Obama campaign in this campaign has attacked Senator Clinton in the worst kind of personal ways, attacked her veracity, attacked her credibility, said that she would say or do anything to get elected, the press has largely applauded him," spokesman Howard Wolfson said, according to The Page's Mark Halperin. "When we have attempted to make contrasts with Senator Obama, we have been criticized for it."

Whether or not Rendell was purposely singing from Hillary Clinton's songbook as part of a coordinated attack, it's clear that the Clinton campaign (and its surrogates) is fed up with the way the race is being covered.

That complaint has long been part of the under-the-radar conversations between Clinton operatives and members of the media, but with just one week left before the Ohio and Texas primaries, the campaign's rhetoric on this point is being raised.

Voters, unlike political insiders, tend to have little interest in these sorts of process arguments. But there does seem to be an emerging sense that the media's perceived laudatory coverage of Obama has seeped into the general consciousness of the country; Saturday Night Live poked fun at it over the weekend, so maybe there is something to the Clinton campaign's argument.

Rendell's comments were made during a series of PostTalk video interviews with governors in Washington for the National Governors Association's annual meeting. Check postpolitics.com on Tuesday to watch the videos.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 25, 2008; 10:18 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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