Pittsburgh  - long maligned as a dying buckle of the Rust Belt - will bask in the world spotlight this fall as host of the next G-20 summit.

Also basking in that spotlight will be Allegheny County executive Dan Onorato - widely credited with leading the area's economic revival.

The event falls at a perfect time for Onorato, considered among the leading Democratic contenders for the gubernatorial nomination in 2010.

Of course, the meeting will also present challenges to local leaders given that the G-20 gatherings frequently draw large protests in host cities.

At a White House press briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs - grilled by skeptical reporters asking why Pittsburgh - said President Obama was impressed with how the Steel City had successfully reinvisioned itself as a green city.

"I think it's an area that has seen its share of economic woes in the past but because of foresight and investment is now renewed—giving birth to renewed industries that are creating the jobs of the future," Gibbs said. "And I think the President believes it would be a good place to highlight some of that."

And, no doubt, a good place to highlight a gubernatorial hopeful.

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