Gov. Kenney? Sen. Kenney?

This is the kind of person he is.

When running for reelection in 2019, Mayor Jim Kenney refused to debate Republican candidate Billy Ciangalini, basically sticking his thumb in the eye of critics who said he owed the concept of democracy a little show. In a city that hasn’t elected a Republican mayor in more than 70 years, he wasn’t in much danger from Ciangalini, who ran a barely there campaign. Kenney showed his contempt for political process.

Please, God, spare me from this job. (Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer)

And now rumors circulate that he may be interested in running for governor or U.S. Senate. I wonder a) why, and b) how can he possibly win?

I think Kenney ran for a second term because he didn’t have anything better to do. He ran for mayor in the first place on an impulse, when someone else dropped out, and, like a dog chasing a car, didn’t know what to do when he caught it.

I don’t think highly of him as a politician now — I was a big fan when he was a Councilman concerned with quality of life issues. I also don’t think much of him as a man — having turned his back on his wife, Maureen, his mentor, former State Sen. Vince Fumo, even members of the Jokers Mummers club, where he spent a couple of happy decades before he went to progressive reeducation camp, and learned his former friends were low-life racists.

He’s become a different man today, and seemingly not happy with what he has become.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to fellow progressive Larry Platt, editor of the Public Citizen:

“Even before a once-in-a-lifetime plague and a racial conflagration rocked our city, Philadelphia had the dubious distinction of having America’s most sour-faced mayor,” Platt wrote.

“Jim Kenney would advertise to complete strangers in bars just how much he hated his job, and even other mayors would shake their heads at his antisocial ways; when a group of them descended on Philly to share notes on best practices, not only did Kenney refrain from joining them, he turned down their request for a guided tour of his city. (He offered to dispatch an aide to show them around, instead.)”

Call him Mr. Personality.

Here’s a thought: If you believe he really hates his job, as do I and Larry Platt, if he announces his candidacy for another post, he will have to resign as mayor, paving the way for City Council President Darrell Clarke, another genius, to become mayor.

It could be the reported political aspirations are just a way for Kenney to escape from Room 215 in City Hall. 

But what if he actually wants to run for something else? What is Kenney’s legacy? What will he show to voters if he seeks the governor’s chair (could Kenney actually live in one-horse town Harrisburg?), or the Senate?

Well, there is the soda tax, which funds a lot of pre-K, but which is unpopular even among the people who benefit from it. Some 60% of Philadelphia voters oppose it.

So there’s that, his biggest deal.

His second-biggest deal? Reclaiming Philadelphia schools from state control. Some cheer local control, while others, such as former Mayor John Street, say it is a form of suicide because it absolves the state of its responsibility. 

Another legacy? The Philadelphia homicide rate in 2020 was the second highest in history. His appointment of Danielle Outlaw as police commissioner is a bust, with neither he nor she having a clue about how to drive down the murder rate. 

Philadelphia’s 24.5% poverty rate is the highest among America’s largest cities. Because of the city’s second-highest tax burden, behind only Bridgeport, Ct., the city finds it difficult to attract new business, but has attracted some new residents, many escaping the bedlam of New York.

Kenney also ended the city’s cooperation with ICE, and our sanctuary city status means foreign felons are safe in Philadelphia and are free to prey on us.

Oh — Kenney brags about the city’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, showing while we lack domestic order, we have a foreign policy. Thermostats mean more than the murder rate.

These strange ideas did not stop him from getting elected in Philadelphia, with a 7-1 registration edge over Republicans, but Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state by only 4.2 million to 3.5 million.

And many of those Democrats, outside the progressive southeast quadrant, are traditional, moderate Democrats, who might have trouble swallowing Kenney’s leftist ideas.

If Kenney were to run — for anything — he’d certainly face primary challengers and it’s hard to imagine anyone less politically palatable than he is.

20 thoughts on “Gov. Kenney? Sen. Kenney?”

  1. Looking forward to seeing him run and losing. Then maybe, MAYBE, he’ll have to get a real job. Probably not. He’ll end up on a board, commission or authority.

    1. Roy – either way, he doesn’t lose. That is, even if he goes down in flames for his next perceived potential position, I’m sure he’ll receive one of those Phabulous Philadelphia Pensions to tide him over.

      1. Randy,
        Good point ! Philly still has the “DROP” program. I don’t know how many years jimmy had on council. Add that to his 8 as the mayor and he’s looking pretty good ! Then, if he gets hooked up like John Street, he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank !

    In these crazy mixed up political times, I don’t doubt any possibilities. I would much much rather see jimmy run for the border, as in get out of town and stay away !

  3. Mayor Kenney’s results are disastrous. Leaders are usually held responsible for their results but not in our City of Brotherly Homicide, Trash Piles, Poverty, Sub-Par Education and Soaring Violent Crime. It is time for Kenney, Krasner and Outlaw to go.
    We have to start somewhere in our cleanup. How about Carlos Vega for DA since the Primary is only a few months away? His win would stabilize one leg of our three-legged chair before it falls and crushes our people. It would be a start and give people hope!

  4. Jim Kenny is the living contradiction of the very funny bumper sticker created by (I believe) ad man Bernie Brownstein: ‘PHILADELPHIA — NOT AS BAD AS YOU’VE HEARD.’

      1. Thank you. Curson, Brownstein et al were among the many bright ad agency stars of 60s and 70s. Remember ‘Tony George’s has stupid martinis’?

  5. I agree 100% He is a real dirtbag.I wouldn’t vote for him for street sweeper.He would degrade the position.

  6. Confidence, leadership, authenticity, are a few of the assets missing from the Kenny administration. Citizens look for calm in moments of chaos which was one of Kenny’s best qualities as he was not only was calm he was comatose. His support of his police force was insulting unless one was killed in the line of duty and then he made a sudden appearance with weak words of being supportive. The parkway fiasco which was a blight on a great thorofare and neighborhood was the pinnacle of a bunkered down approach to any challenge that called for backbone and real leadership. In political terms, he may survive with a knee-jerk democratic statewide vote but I would hope that those who seek a contributor and not a bland, unproductive manakin would allow Kenny his demise.

  7. Curious – How many people who vote know the candidate’s platform or his/her past record. Just wondering if the majority votes the way their family/neighbors or media sway them.

  8. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    I don’t believe that the Mayor is a viable candidate for any up-coming, state-wide races.

    The traditional up-sate animus against our fair town would likely turn against him with particular joy and glee!

    I think we have to admit that he’s had some very bad luck with the epidemic and the resulting business turn down. But, on the other hand, people would also likely recall the Summer’s public discontents and the city’s ineffective reaction to the wide-spread rioting and looting. It was not quite Portland OR, and National Guard was called in to restore order, but the memory is not a happy one.

    Also it is doubtful that the City (let alone the state) Democrats have quite been captured by leftward political correctness –which is chiefly still confined to the universities. Mr. Biden is sending some signals in the opposite direction.

    BTW: Is the statue of Columbus still boarded up down in S. Philly?

    H.G. Callaway

  9. I was riding by Marconi Plaza in June when the “Peaceful” protesters were trying to tear down the Christopher Columbus Statue and it was very disturbing. Our city was destroyed under Kenney’s watch and he did nothing about it. Now our crime very high and no signs of the so called Police Commissioner who should resign. Krasner another
    prize for our city. It’s sad the people keep on voting the same party in when they’ve done nothing for the city.
    Kenney could never work for the streets department, he would actually have to work for a living!!!
    Maybe he’ll just go away, collect his pension, “Drop” $$ and keep his mask on, nobody wants to see his face!
    It is time for Kenney, Krasner and Outlaw to go as someone stated.

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