Former York County Commissioner Lori Mitrick, a Republican, held closed her copy of former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell's book, "A Nation of Wusses: How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great."
She and Rendell worked together years ago, when she was a commissioner and he was governor.
But this was a moment of truth, this bipartisan reading experience. She opened the book and read the inscription.
"To a great former York County commissioner, a true non-wuss Republican."
She laughed, saying she thought his assessment of her character is "on target."
"I told him that I lost my seat, and he said, 'Good for you!,'" she said.
Rendell later explained that his congratulatory reaction was based on Mitrick's decision to stand by what she believed in - a controversial eminent domain decision - regardless of the risk.
The lack of such fortitude in most politicians is the reason he wrote the book, he said.
"I have a chapter on that," he said. "'Stand and Defend: There Are Some Things Worth Losing For.'"
The event: Mitrick was one of several dozen Yorkers who turned out to have Rendell's book signed at the Democratic Party of York County's headquarters Wednesday afternoon on West Market Street.
The stop at headquarters was one of two Rendell was to make Wednesday on his book tour, the second being a post-York stop at Barnes & Noble in Lancaster, said Kirstin Snow, Rendell's chief of staff. The tour started May 31 and is booked through July, she said.
Rendell has remained popular since his second term ended because he has continued to be active and outspoken, and his book is likely to make the extended list on the New York Times Best Sellers list, she said.
The book is available in hardcover for $25, or in an electronic format.
Most of the York attendees were Democrats, many of whom are current or former politicians. They included former York City Mayor Charlie Robertson, York City Mayor Kim Bracey, County Commissioner Doug Hoke, and the omnipresent "Reading Bug," York City resident Donna Watkins, who dresses like a bug.
Watkins was among many Democrats to lament the loss of a Democrat in the state's highest office. She said he did more for education than Gov. Tom Corbett, whose "budget cuts are everywhere."
Bob Kefauver, who chairs the county's Democratic Party, introduced Rendell as a man everyone knows and loves.
"We miss him in Harrisburg," Kefauver said to cheers.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at email@example.com.