Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has never filtered his words very well. And now that he's 11 days from leaving office, he'll say anything. He's unhinged! He'll even yell through clenched teeth at 60 Minutes' "idiot" and "simpleton," Lesley Stahl!
Lesley Stahl is the nice lady reporter on 60 Minutes. She will go to a steel mill or an island or a dump or a department store and giggle incredulously about the modern world. Is it even possible to get angry at Lesley Stahl? She is America's grandmotherly tourist.
But on this Sunday's episode, during a segment about Gambling On The Rise in America ("Look at all of these casinos, golly!"), she interviews unhinged lame-duck Ed Rendell.
Rendell was last heard a few weeks back calling America a "nation of wussies," because the Philadelphia Eagles postponed their football game in the middle of a blizzard that dropped 30+ inches of snow, which would have made it hard for paying customers to reach the stadium. He added a line about how in China, the ambitious China people would've trudged to the stadium anyway, while doing calculus. (China is nuts these days.)
And in this gambling segment, Rendell really doesn't care for Leslie Stahl's boilerplate questions that every reporter has always asked every governor who wants to expand gambling in his or her state. Ed Rendell yelled at Leslie Stahl!
RENDELL: "The biggest downside is that some people lose their paychecks. But understand, Lesley, they're not losing their paychecks because Pennsylvania instituted gaming. These people were losing their paychecks in Atlantic City, in Delaware at the racetracks, or in West Virginia."
STAHL: "So why not lose it here . . ."
Rendell: "Well, if they were going to lose it anyway, let's get the upside. We were getting all the downside and none of the upside."
STAHL: "The counter-argument is that you're creating new gamblers. And lots of new gamblers."
RENDELL: "We're not creating new gamblers."
STAHL: "Well, 'cause it's down the street."
RENDELL: "Those people play the lottery. They bet on football. How much money is bet on the Super Bowl."
STAHL: "People are losing money for the state to get its revenue. They're losing money."
RENDELL: "Let me answer this. You . . . you've . . . I've always . . . I've known, uh, for two or three decades, you're a very smart person."
STAHL: "But not now."
RENDELL: "But you're not getting it."
STAHL: "I'm dumb now."
RENDELL: "You're not getting it. Those people would lose that money anyway. Don't you understand? You guys don't get that. You're simpletons. You're idiots if you don't get that . . . That's the answer and it's the right answer."
Check out the preview clip up top! He really does clench his teeth and bark at Leslie Stahl, over simple questions that he should just deal with. How will Lesley Stahl react? "Simpletons? What a world! Yahoo!"