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.