From our breaking news page, former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell returned to Harrisburg to talk politics.
The Philadelphia infamous for offering his thoughts on any and every topic didn't disappoint, remarking on national politics, education policy, pension reform, transportation, and, of course, sports.
As for the national race, Rendell prognosticated that Mitt Romney needs to make a splash during the first debate next week, or else the contest essentially will be over.
During his opening remarks, the long-time politician said that he believes polls showing a continued lead for President Barack Obama are "fairly accurate." The tipping point could be in the first debate, Mr. Rendell said, describing Mr. Romney as good at condensing his ideas into the short soundbites and President Obama as less suited for that format.
However, he added, Mr. Romney would have few options to make up for a poor initial debate showing, and could see super PAC dollars shift toward congressional candidates if his prospects dim.
"I think there's a chance that Gov. Romney will do well and maybe even have a game-changer to make this a tight race down the road," Mr. Rendell said. "If he doesn't, it will snowball rapidly."
The two-term governor also delved back into state government, replying to a question on plummeting state test scores by arguing the importance of education funding and pointing toward Gov. Tom Corbett's no-tax-hike promise.
"Gov. Corbett is doing exactly what he told you he would -- and he's no wuss," he said. "He told you that he signed a no tax pledge ... you should have understood what that meant. It was as clear as the nose on your face. It meant everything including education would be cut and cut severely. And the governor is just doing what he said he would do on transportation, on education."
And he offered a tongue-in-cheek endorsement of House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, commending the GOP floor leader for his "courageous" remark about how voter ID would allow Governor Romney to win Pennsylvania.