Ed Rendell became Mayor of Philadelphia when I was 8 and left that office when I was 16, so I have no personal recollection of his administration to offer, but by most accounts he seems to have done a pretty good job in that role.
Now, usually when somebody demonstrates that they have the skill set to excel at a particular job, they’re considered qualified to do the same job for a different employer. If you earned a reputation for being an effective Chief Technology Officer at some big company, some other big companies will probably want to hire you to do the same job for them.
The labor market for American politicians isn’t like this. You don’t see the outgoing Mayor of one city apply to be the Mayor of some other city when his term is up. But that’s too bad! Everybody wants to complain about the low quality of politicians, but rarely do people stop to consider that maybe it’s because we’ve created a crappy labor market for politicians that suffers from excessive parochialism and protectionism.
Ed Rendell knows how to do this job pretty well, and I think he should run for New York City Mayor next year if he wants to. Or even better, maybe Michael Bloomberg should think about getting into the Philadelphia Mayoral race next time.