Ed Rendell has been dogged for months by rumors of a possible romantic relationship with a 40-year-old aide. A Philadelphia magazine reports on the rumors in an issue hitting newsstands Friday, but apparently finds no one who will go on the record, and no real concrete evidence.
In other words, if the subject were a Republican running for president, you'd call this piece New York Times quality.
Rendell's response is, shall we say, audacious:
"Do I have some flaws? Absolutely!" Rendell tells the magazine, which will hit newsstands on Friday. "For all of the rumors, has any woman ever said that I have had sex with her? Other than my wife?"
Then, the I'm-an-unromantic-schlub defense, also known as the "Who am I, Mark Sanford?" defense:
And, finally, we have the ringing endorsement of Rendell's wife when she was faced with speculation that he had a dalliance with Eliot Spitzer's paid paramour:
"Midge knew it wasn't me," Rendell told the magazine. "I have my failings, but she was pretty confident that I didn't go to a prostitute."
It's all so comically frank and unflattering, I think I'm forced to believe him.