readline doesn't "call Vim":
While the Readline library does not have a full set of vi editing functions, it does contain enough to allow simple editing of the line. The Readline vi mode behaves as specified in the POSIX standard.
- Interestingly, there's a plugin for Vim (used within Vim) which imitates the readline bindings:
This plugins implements a subset of Readline's default keyboard commands to Vim's command-line mode. Mappings available include deletion and navigation by words and other useful stuff.
Because readline "behaves as specified" by POSIX, even if you could persuade it to try to read your
.vimrc, that would contain definitions not recognized by readline.
Now... what bash does is separate (at a higher level) than readline. The feature you're interested in is provided by the built-in command
fc (that's POSIX as well, although the particular usage you're relying upon does not appear in that page).