Governor Ed Rendell is indefatigable as TV commentator

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HARRISBURG – At 5:30 p.m. on Election Day, you could catch him live on Hardball With Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

Flipping over to CNBC at 6:45, you’d see him again, talking green energy and road repair with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer.

By 7 he was dishing on U.S. politics for BBC viewers; at 9:45 it was back to state politics on a Pennsylvania Cable Network call-in show.

And the night was still young for Ed Rendell, easily the most visible governor in TV land.

He did four more appearances before 1 a.m. – and two more on morning talk shows. In all, he had 12 guest TV appearances in 14 hours, mostly on national networks.

So why is a 66-year-old lame-duck governor such a popular “get” for TV producers the world over?

Easy, say hosts who invite him. He’s smart and entertaining.

“He’s very candid, and he’s gung-ho,” said Matthews of Hardball. “He has the tenor of TV, the liveliness, the excitement, and the passion.”

And he blurts things out.

Rendell has been a regular on Matthews’ show since making headlines in 2000 when, to fellow Democrats’ chagrin, he advised Al Gore on live TV to throw in the towel in the presidential race – even as Florida’s votes were increasingly in doubt.

Full story: Rendell is indefatigable as TV commentator | Philadelphia Inquirer | 11/08/2010