So who's Hillary's enforcer? Last week we asked "who got to Donny Deutsch?" when he suddenly became supportive of Hillary whereas just the week before he had been very critical of her.
Something strangely similar has now happened with Ed Rendell. Just yesterday, the former DNC Chairman and Pennsylvania governor was quoted in the New York Times saying Hillary has handled the email scandal "poorly, maybe atrociously, certainly horribly." But on today's Morning Joe, Ed was suddenly singing a different tune, claiming Hillary is doing everything right and plaintively suggesting that there is no problem. That led Mark Halperin to observe "I'm not saying he woke up with a horse head in bed with him," but "he was contacted . . . by what we like to call Clinton associates."
Note: The Godfather badinage between Joe and Willie at the end of the clip is presumably in reference to a scene in which Tessio asks Tom Hagen if he can get him off the hook "for old times' sake" for having betrayed Michael. Hagen replies "can't do it, Sally," and Tessio is led away to his death.
Uh-oh: Not a joke: just after posting this item, I received an email from Hillary [well, presumably from her campaign posing as her], with the subject line: "dinner? Will you join me for dinner?" The first line read "I'd like to get to know you, and I can't think of a better way to do that than sitting down to dinner together." Call me paranoid, but I'm a little reluctant to accept the invitation. At the very least, I'll be checking the lavatory carefully before sitting down to dinner ;-)
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: This is your quote, "They've handled the e-mail issue poorly, maybe atrociously, certainly horribly. The campaign has been incredibly tone-deaf, not seeing this as a more serious issue. She should have turned over the e-mail server at the start because they should have known they'd be forced to give it up. But at this point, there's nothing they can do to kill the issue. They're just -- they're left just playing defense."
. . .
ED RENDELL: I said in there about there's nothing they can do. They have to wait until all of these investigations are over. And it's my belief that it will find that there's nothing that was marked classified at the time that she either received or sent out . . . The State Department has already said that nothing that they sent out or received was marked classified . . . Other secretaries of state have done it. She was in accord with the policies and regulation that were in effect when she was Secretary of State. If none of it turns out to be classified documents that were harmful to the country, then she may have used bad judgement and she's acknowledged that. But where's the problem here?
. . .
MARK HALPERIN: Governor, you say other secretaries of state have done this. What other secretaries of state had private servers on which they conducted their official business?
RENDELL: They had separate e-mail accounts, Mark, and whatever --
HALPERIN: Yeah, but none of them had private servers. The answer is none. So let me ask you a different question. Right now you seem to be saying they're not handling it well. So forget what she did in the past. What are the specific steps regarding what she takes account -- responsibility for and any action she should take regarding the server and her e-mails? What specific steps should she take now?
RENDELL: I think she's taken the steps. She's turned over the server. She's turned over all the e-mails that are available. And I think she -- we're just going to have to wait till this plays out.
The crew suspected some "message discipline" had been applied:
MIKA: Something happened in the last 24 hours.
JOE: Oh, Ed got yelled at. Can we just say this? We love Ed. Ed made a horrible mistake, Mark Halperin, he told the truth about Hillary Clinton in the campaign. And then when I said, hey, shouldn't they have been doing this months ago -- which of course everybody knows the correct answer is yes. Tell the truth. He actually did a full Jen Palmieri [senior Hillary aide]. I mean even more intense.
MARK HALPERIN: I'm not saying he woke up this morning with a horse head in bed with him, but --
JOE: Oh, my God.
HALPERIN: I would guess when the New York Times posted that story on the website, they got --
JOE: It got ugly fast.
HALPERIN: -- he was contacted. It would not be the first time that Ed Rendell said something a little bit out of school and was contacted by what we like to call Clinton associates. I'm not saying I know that happened. But if past is prologue . . .
MIKA: It's not the first time people contact people like that.
HALPERIN: He heard from them, and they said: "you will channel Jennifer Palmieri on Morning Joe.
JOE: And it was probably talk, much like Michael [Corleone, of the Godfather] when he sat there talking to his brother-in-law telling him to just, you know, he's going to take care of him. Can you save me once for old time sake? Can you put in a good word?
WILLIE GEIST: No.
GEIST: It's over, man.
JOE: That's it. Wow.