Ed Rendell to Replace Keith Olbermann?

If only we could be so lucky!

For the next talk-show host at MSNBC, my vote goes to – wait for it – the former governor of the great state of Pennsylvania.

Yes, Ed “I Love You, William Morris” Rendell should take over the spot in MSNBC’s full-time lineup left vacant by the sudden departure Friday of Keith Olbermann, the cable network’s highest-rated talker. He’s that good.

Granted, Rendell is reportedly about to sign with MSNBC as a political talking head, but it’s a part-time deal. And granted, Rendell says he’s not looking for a full-time TV gig, given all his other commitments.

But c’mon, people. The prospect of our Ed doing a nightly show on MSNBC is too delicious for words.

For starters, he easily fulfills the two most important requirements. He’s a liberal Democrat and a walking media event, not necessarily in that order.

Verbally, Ed Rendell kicks ass.

In a steel-cage match with Bill O’Reilly or Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity, my money’s on our former mayor. In terms of intensity, nobody can touch Rendell, either. When 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl asked him recently about casinos and their effect on addictive gamblers, it looked like his head was about to explode.

His decibel level shot up. He waved his hands like a karate instructor on speed. I swear I saw spittle as he lashed out at Stahl, calling her a “simpleton” and an “idiot” for not understanding his answer.

It was a perfect television moment, and 60 Minutes milked it for days before the January 9th broadcast. So did the rest of the media, for whom Rendell reliably provides an embarrassment of riches.

Less than two weeks before, Rendell had attracted major attention for having labeled the United States “a nation of wusses” after the NFL had cancelled the Vikings-Eagles game at First Union, due to an expected blizzard.

Speaking of home-field advantages, Rendell has one at MSNBC. Comcast, whose acquisition of NBC Universal is expected to be finalized this week, is based in Philadelphia, as is Ed. Moreover, Comcast heavyweight David L. Cohen and Rendell have been political soulmates seemingly since their Bar Mitzvahs.

Through a Comcast spokeswoman, Cohen had no comment. Comcast has pledged that it will not interfere with any decisions by NBC or its cable networks.

Still. a girl can dream, can’t she?