From somebody who knows

    We’re saying goodbye (sort of) this month to Pennsylvania political icons Arlen Specter and Ed Rendell, and I was glad today that we have John Baer to put their careers in perspective with both wit and insight.

    Baer’s a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, where I worked for 19 years.

    His piece on Specter today is a must-read, and his appearance this morning on Radio Times to talk about Ed Rendell is a must-listen.

    There have been many times in the past eight years when Rendell was so furious with Baer that he would open news a conference with a passing insult aimed at him.

    But Baer told Marty Moss-Coane today Rendell was dogged in pursuit of the policy goals he outlined as a gubernatorial candidate, and he thinks history will judge him more kindly than journalists do today.

    He also said Rendell’s rant about the cancellation of last week’s Eagles’ game was an audition of sorts for his future career as a cable TV pundit.

    When I heard that, I remembered that I’d called Rendell’s office the Monday after the cancellation to see if the guv would repeat his condemnation on tape to me. I was told he had a very busy schedule.

    Sure enough, he called me within an hour. John was right, as usual.

    And if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth six minutes to see Rendell’s appearance on The Colbert Report. Rendell is okay. Colbert is brilliant.

    UPDATE: you can now read more of John Baer on his own blog, “Baer Growls”

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