Don't drop any fiscal bombshells. Use what money you have to expand programs popular with the voters. And never, ever increase taxes.
So the playbook goes for first-term governors introducing a budget in the year they are up for reelection.
And Gov. Rendell's budget speech yesterday did not stray far from those parameters - though Rendell did use the occasion to detail some of his more dramatic initiatives of previous years and to push for measures he still wants accomplished, such as property-tax relief. was part sales pitch, part campaign stump speech.