He took on public unions early in his term in a way his predecessors didn't or wouldn't. He quickly found himself on national magazine covers and morning shows, with politicos speculating that he would achieve higher office after saving his government from fiscal collapse.
He looked like an Everyman and he spoke like an Everyman. Even though his mouth sometimes got him into trouble, he didn't stop using it.
And in between the politicking and pontificating, he somehow found time to host sports talk shows.
He is Democrat Ed Rendell, former Philadelphia mayor and Pennsylvania governor. But he is also New Jersey Republican Gov. Christie.