There are two things politicians should remember in the YouTube age:
(1) You don't have to comment on everything.
(2) If you must comment, think before you speak.
Meet Gov. Ed "I'll Talk to Anyone About Anything" Rendell, Exhibit A of what happens when you violate Maxims 1 and 2.
While at Independence Mall on Tuesday for the National Governors Association meeting with Barack Obama, Rendell opined on the president-elect's choice for homeland security boss, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano:
"Janet's perfect for that job," Rendell said, unaware of an open microphone close by. "Because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19, 20 hours a day to it."
CNN's Campbell Brown, who once questioned whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was being a good mom by accepting the VP nomination, called Rendell on the carpet for his blatant attack on womanhood.
Would he have said the same things about a man? Brown asked. Doesn't this confirm that women with families don't get a fair shot at job opportunities? That single women are the dumping ground for extra work, allowing married colleagues to skate?
Excellent questions, and Rendell has since apologized, stressing that he actually meant to compliment the hard-working Napolitano.
Well, opinion is mixed. An unscientific AOL.com poll shows those not bothered by the comments leading the offended 3-to-1. But the level of pain Rendell has caused is clear from other blogosphere remarks, such as the one about his foot in his mouth and his head elsewhere.
To avoid future embarrassment and harsh feelings, Gov. Rendell should review Maxims 1 and 2.