By the end of this month, they will be packing away the last folding chair at the Wells Fargo Center signaling the end of the Democratic National Convention.
It will also signal something else: Ed Rendell, the DNC Chairman, will need a job.
As good fortune would have it, Temple has an opening that Rendell, the former Governor of Pennsylvania, would be perfect for: President of Temple University. Russell Conwell, the founder of the university, liked to talked about finding Acres of Diamonds in your own backyard and Rendell is that gem a stone’s throw away.
This is not about Temple football, or sports, because even if Temple was New York University and had no sports, Rendell would be perfect for the position because he checks off all the boxes:
1) He’s balanced big budgets before
Rendell served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011) and oversaw a budget of $28.3 billion as the chief executive of the nation’s 6th-most-populous state. As Governor, he successfully cut wasteful spending and improved efficiency leading to savings of over $1 billion. During his two terms as Mayor of Philadelphia (1992-2000), Rendell eliminated a crippling deficit, balanced the City’s budget, and generated five consecutive budget surpluses.
2) He’s a people person
Let’s face it. A lot of the President’s duties are largely as a figurehead with a heavy dose of fund-raising and pressing the flesh. Rendell has a lot of experience in that area. He will raise the endowment of the university to a respectable level.
3) He’s well-connected in state and city government
He’s more likely to get big projects through the City Council, whether it is another campus high rise or a stadium, than Neil D. Theobald was. He knows the landscape and he knows how to twist arms and get things done.
4) He’s an academic
He currently is a Professor at Penn, teaching two courses. Rendell being perhaps the best education Governor the Commonwealth has ever had, securing more funding for the state’s three major institutions (Temple, Penn State, Pitt) than five of his predecessors combined . He has a Bachelors from Penn and a Masters from Villanova, just like his future boss and former classmate, Patrick J. O’Connor.
As you can see by the photo at the top of this post, O’Connor has turned to Rendell before. It is now time for him to turn to Rendell again. Temple has what Rendell needs, a job, and Rendell certainly checks all of the boxes for Temple’s needs now.
Monday: The Andres Blanco of Temple