Emperor Kenney has no smiles

“Kenney has never fully embraced the public part of being a public official.He rarely smiles and is often snippy and surly. He reads speeches straight from the script and does not try to hide his often grumpy and detached look.”

The mayor with his usual grim visage

No, gentle reader, that is not my writing, although it sure seems like it. It is part of a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial published on July 7.

This was in the wake of the infamous remark made by the mayor after the July 4 shooting, where he told a reporter he looks forward to no longer being mayor.

Here is the transaction:

““You’re looking forward to not being mayor?” a reporter asked.

“Yeah, as a matter of fact,” Kenney replied.

We feel the same, I added.

It was a stupid thing for him to say and later had to retract it saying he was “frustrated.”

But by then the hyenas were circling, with wannabe mayors and others calling for him to resign.

As if.

Well, six years into his tenure and the paper of record finally figured it out.

Until my retirement in July 2019, I was one of the few the only staffer to regularly oppose Jim Kenney.

My opposition had two arms — policy and personality.

His first term’s signature achievement was the so-called soda (or sugary drink) tax, which wound up driving up prices on some 4,000 grocery products, including diet drinks.Hard to believe, but true, as you can see here.

It had the questionable effect of causing at least one large supermarket to close.

It did add about 4,000 pre-K seats and some recreational improvements are in the pipeline.

Then there’s Kenney crocodile tears after every shooting,  with him blaming Harrisburg for not enough laws, rather than the murderous mindset of too many Philadelphians. Kenney’s too busy whining about H-burg and the NRA to do anything about the sociopaths among us.

As to personality… I remember when Kenney lived in South Philly, was a Councilman with a particular interest in quality of life issues.

He was a fun-loving guy, with a capacity for both red faced anger, and explosive laughter.

We were friends.

But then he went to Progressive Reeducation Camp and came out woke.

He left his wife, left South Philly, turned on the cops and his life-long Mummer friends, and set up a Sanctuary City to protect those here illegally, even those convicted of felonies.

He thinks there aren’t enough gun laws, but too many immigration laws. So he ignores them and sticks his thumb in the eye of law enforcement.

In recent years a (very) few other journalists noted that he seemed to be sour and unhappy, just going through the motions. 

Now even the editorial page has reported on it. 

Whatever star he had has eclipsed.

I think he and Joe Biden will be sharing a cabin in the Poconos before long.

25 thoughts on “Emperor Kenney has no smiles”

    1. I agree Wanda. I have never liked Kenny and while I still like Biden, the bloom is off the rose.

      Who would you like to see run for Mayor and President?

      1. Hi H.,
        I think Alan Domb for mayor, because there will not be and is not another Rendell. And at least Alan is smart. And I agree with you about Biden. I’m having a real problem with an alternative to him though. Perhaps Mayor Pete — but I don’t think this country is ready for a gay president sadly. But he is smart too.

        1. Hi Wanda:

          Alan Domb would be a great choice. To be honest while trying to think of some people I completely forgot about him.

          Pete Buttigieg is also a great choice but as you said this country is not ready for a gay president. It is sad but true.

          You have come up with two fantastic picks.

  1. That a new tax is Kenney’s major accomplishment speaks volumes. The city’s propensity to tax any and everything is among the reasons this writer is a former resident of Philadelphia. I wish Ed Rendell were mayor again.

  2. an Ed Rendell like mayor resurfacing to save the city is what keeps me here.Remember the poster phillymag used to print showing a bum sitting on a milk crate over a steam vent with Billy Penn covered in scaffolding with the tag line “ Philadelphia-a city down on its luck”-or something to that effect.Things were pretty bleak then.

      1. He has been the best Mayor in my lifetime Stu. I remember having a private meeting with him, while he was Mayor, talking to him about running for Govenor. He was a gracious person. I realize that graciousness can be superficial but I did not get that feeling with him.

          1. And you don’t think Rendell was the best mayor??? Hatd to believe.
            In both policy and personality.
            That’s why he was elected governor.
            Kenney once floated that balloon and got laughed out of town. I think the priesthood suits him.

    1. What many cities need today is a Mayor Frank Rizzo. As for Kenny, call him, “Mr. Blue.”

    ( sarcasm ) I’m upset with you. You left out that Kenney is light on his feet and can do a jig !
    As usual, you got it right again. I’m glad to see that as Kenney is winding down his term, the press, papers and blogs are unloading on him. Talk about sharks in the water or circling vultures.

      1. Stu,
        I know that I’m long winded, but Larry Platt is L O N G winded. Everything that Larry said had to be said, just not all of once.
        Me, I vaguely remember Dilworth. I knew Uncle Frank well enough. I knew Fast Eddy. You, you knew them all better than most. You need a flow chart to fairly guage one mayor against any other mayor.
        The big difference is character and the attributes that define a great leader. Some got it and some don’t . That’s the down side of a political machine. O.K. Stu, you served on council for 12 years, now it’s your turn to be mayor. Or something like that.
        Being a boss is stress no matter how you spell it. Leading Philly is something that a special person has to command. Too many agencies and departments are just in idle, meaning that they don’t produce anywhere near their potential. Cops and Fire are good examples of being held back by
        bureaucracy . It takes a powerful mayor to cut through the politics and give those departments the funds to give 100% to the public. They deserve no less.
        An old say’n’. “I lead from the front”.

  4. There.is therapy and medication for the Mayor’s emotional problems. The issue is lack of plan to combat traumatic, horror and fear caused by gun violence in our city. I drive to Bucks County to shop at the supermarket to avoid being carjacked or shot. Our local government needs a plan and leadership to prevent violent gun related crime. Having prayer vigils, placing teddy bears and candles at locations of homicides does not prevent future shootings. The police have to stop individuals based on probable cause who are committing these shooting. The woke generation are against the police stops of suspected violent criminals. City council members who are concerned about the PD hurting the feelings of their constituents who will be stopped by police. Council needs to realize what harm their inaction has caused. Giving money out to community groups for violence prevention programs without review to determine their effectiveness is a waste of money. How about if you are arrested for illegal possession of a gun, you have put up a large amount of bail pending the violator’s trial. The city needs leadership now, not the response our Mayor presented on Monday.

  5. Thanks, Stu. Another great read. For the record, I’m a product of 1954. My way-back starts with James Tate. I loved Francis L. Rizzo. I believe he had good intention. That said, my favorite Mayor has been Mike Nutter. What a mess he was left with, with what the Street clan couldn’t carry out the doors with them. IMO, from worst to first. Go Phils!

    1. Stude, I agree with you on Street. I do not think there was a more horrible mayor going back to the 1950’s.

    2. I arrived here when Tate was mayor and was stunned we had a mayor who could not pronounce the name of the city. To him, it was Fluffia. But he was a decent man.

  6. It was Nutter who closed fire stations and had brownouts. It was Kenny who stopped it. It has always amazed me how cops and firemen are the first to be cut when the money is tight. Easy pickings I suppose, since they can’t strike. Remember the days when the trash piled up for weeks? And weeks? Politics sucks!!

    1. He tried to close libraries, too, and there was enormous pushback.
      No fan of Nutter, but do remember he was mayor during the Great Recession.

  7. Another outstanding article. Thank you!

    I’m interested in your thoughts how this piece dovetails with your prior one about freedoms of the press. Using the major print news outlet as an example, it has been my observation they routinely suppress stories that might contradict their agenda/narrative. Here’s two quotes from the article above.

    “Until my retirement in July 2019, I was one of the few the only staffer to regularly oppose Jim Kenney.”

    “In recent years a (very) few other journalists noted that he seemed to be sour and unhappy, just going through the motions.”

    This is exactly why I left them & found myself here. And to be fair, it’s not just them. Selective reporting does not fit my description of journalism. It fits my definition of public relations, sales, marketing and the like. Curious about your thoughts & have a great weekend coming up! Thanks, again!

    1. By coincidence, Thom, today’s column answers some of your questions. If you have any more, don’t hesitate to ask. I am here to expand understanding about the things I know.

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