HARRISBURG - The recent budget battle between Governor Ed Rendell and the state legislature has taken its toll, says Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo. According to Mr. Ardo, the Governor has lost a significant amount of weight over the past week. Rendell’s private physician, Dr. Michael Loftus, said the compromise reached between Senate Republican leaders and Rendell on the Governor’s ambitious budget agenda is contributing to his decline.
“Apparently, being forced to curtail his appetite for spending has curtailed his appetite for eating.” Mr. Ardo provided additional information. “The marathon negotiating sessions held this past weekend between the Governor and Senate caucus leaders left no time for meals.” Ardo said the tense atmosphere of the meetings also contributed to a deterioration in the Governor’s eyesight, as well as the loss of his hair.
The Governor’s office released a photograph of Rendell purportedly taken this morning. The photo seems to confirm Mr. Ardo’s account of the physical deterioration of his boss. “Ever since the agreement was reached on Monday night, he’s been doing nothing but sitting around the Mansion in a loincloth, chanting.” Ardo said the Governor’s personal chef was working round the clock, sending a steady supply of cheese steaks and nachos to Rendell’s private quarters. “We’re all praying that the familiar aroma of his beloved comfort foods will rouse him from his current condition.”