Jim Pinkerton has written something that deserves a look (perhaps a second one by Obama supporters who may have thought most of the bad blood with Hillaryland washed away with the good vibes and happy juice).

PA Gov. Ed Rendell, former Hillary courtier, now supposedly on some long list of Obama veep candidates, decided yesterday to announce a new state “Chief Diversity Officer,” a sort of “Diversity Czar,” backed, as Jim points out, “by the full force of the state government.” Given Rendell’s slippery reputation (and don’t forget how he once suggested Obama couldn’t win his state because he was black), Jim senses that Rendell may planting a stinkbomb with a slow fuse for his new found friend:

Rendell’s action is great news, of course, for the leftist-multiculturalist cause of “diversity.” But Rendell’s action is also an early warning indicator: It’s a signal to non-leftists, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, of what an even greater emphasis on “diversity” might look like. That is to say, Rendell’s action in Pennsylvania is a preview of what could happen next in Barack Obama’s America. And that realization could be enough to put the 21 electoral votes of normally “blue” Pennsylvania in play.

Whoa there, Pinkerton, you might be saying. Rendell is a Democrat, and Democrats, as a party, are the leading proponents of “diversity”—also known as affirmative action, racial preferences, and, most bluntly of all, quotas. Moreover, Rendell, who strongly supported Hillary Rodham Clinton in the recent Democratic primary campaign, might simply be trying to get in good with Obama by “getting with the program,” diversity-wise.

So by that reckoning, it makes perfect sense for Rendell to name a “Diversity Czar,” Trent Hargrove, who would solemnly declared, “We will prepare a strategic plan that will make Pennsylvania a national leader in diversity management.” No doubt the progressives of Philadelphia—not to mention Washington D.C. and San Francisco—will love such brave talk about “diversity management,” but how will that sort of lefty boilerplate play in Allentown? In Aliquippa? In Altoona? Not well. Because the blue collars and ethnics in “Deer Hunter” Pennsylvania have learned, from bitter experience, that “diversity” and all its code-word synonyms have simply become a way to provide government aid to “fashionable” minorities at the expense of the hardscrabble majority.

And so when another of Rendell’s diversitarians, Naomi Wyatt, announces, in the same press release, “We can transform our diversity efforts into a more comprehensive program across all state agencies,” how should those words be taken? As a promise? As a threat? I report, you decide.


So here’s where Rendell’s hidden-hand cleverness might be making an appearance in. I can’t prove it, but I can’t help but think that maybe Rendell is plotting to “help” Obama lose. Because this “diversity initiative” is a way of highlighting “diversity liberalism,” which is to say, highlighting Obama’s liberalism.

The Illinois Democrat, of course, supports affirmative action. How could he not, since it’s widely believed that he has benefited from such policies? And so it’s safe to assume that there would be plenty more “diversity”-type programs in an Obama administration. Such “diversity” programs wouldn’t be popular with the white working class, but if Obama wins the presidency this November, he might figure that he has a mandate for his kind of liberalism. And who could argue with him in the Oval Office? After all, he was elected as the 44th President.

Why, of all times, announce such a retro 90’s office anyway? It certainly couldn’t have come at a worse time politically for Obama, whether the Illinois Democrat agrees with the tenets of a state “diversity czar” or not. His lead against McCain in Pennsylvania this week has all but evaporated, according to Quinnipiac, and on Thursday he touched off another race skirmish with his opponent who, hoping to get away from that garish Brittney/Paris ad bomb, was only happy to comply. “Who’s playing the race card?” topped “Who can lead the country” on all the cable networks over the last 24 hours, resurrecting Rev. Wright and his regrettable mug all over again.

One might say Rendell can do anything he wants in his state — not everything has to be about Obama you know. Right. But Rendell was hardly auditioning for the Keystone public servant of the year 2008 when he was spending all that time as one of Hillary’s chief surrogates during the northeastern primaries, even offering to help her raise the money to hold the Michigan and Florida contests over again.

Obama may need to watch his back — and I’d certainly ask John Kerry whether one can ever be too careful.