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February 23, 2016

Want a good laugh? Read Kenney's endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Philadelphia's mayor says the presidential candidate can "unite the nation," but logic and history say otherwise

It’s a dreary Tuesday in Philadelphia, a rainy morning and afternoon when the LOVE Park statue was packed up and moved from its regular location in the name of development.

Luckily, gray skies didn’t hinder my ability to laugh. For that, I can thank our mayor, Jim Kenney.

A press release sent out Monday night but embargoed – read: you can know, but can’t report, about it – until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday indicated that the leader with nearly two months in the second-floor office supported Hillary Clinton’s pursuit of the presidency.

To pretend that a Hillary Clinton presidency would, in any way, bring opposing forces together in a united front to cure what ails a broken country sits barely on the non-commitment side of sanity.

Let’s take a look at the 79-word explanation for that stance:

"Hillary Clinton has the heart, strength and depth of knowledge and experience to unite our nation and lead us during these troubled times. She will build on the accomplishments of President Obama and continue the economic growth and expansion he successfully initiated. 

“I share Secretary Clinton's progressive vision for America and her quest to tear down barriers that deny opportunity and exclude so many Americans from access to the American Dream. I trust Hillary Clinton with our nation's future."

That Kenney would endorse Clinton doesn’t come as much of a surprise, what with his predecessor flitting about the national network circuit with the same level of support as he voiced before Barack Obama rained on his possible-Cabinet-post parade.

For Democratic leaders, she’s the odds-on favorite at this point. You climb aboard the endorsement train early, you get bonus points should your side prevail. 

This is especially important when you're the head of the city where Democrats will gather to nominate their candidate this summer. So, you can’t really blame the mayor, whose sentiments were issued by “Kenney for Philadelphia” and not the mayoral press office. (Laws, etc!)

Truth be told, I don’t take much issue with most of Kenney’s 79 words (full disclosure: I prefer Bernie Sanders). But three of those words – “unite our nation” – strike me as hysterically nonsensical. 

Kenney would have been well served leaving them out.

ICYMI: Hillary Clinton is one of the most divisive political figures in recent American history.

Republicans have long deemed her political-Satan incarnate, and their unscrupulous, abhorrent behavior – or lack thereof – has belied that fact. Now, as the Democratic primary heats up in previously unforeseen ways, there is an intraparty chasm that leaves some worried she wouldn’t pick up support in the general from those who oppose her now.

Reality isn’t fair or unfair; it is what it is. 

Even the rosiest of rose-colored glasses don’t offer a view of a world where Clinton’s potential post-inauguration life will be any easier that what her predecessor lived. 

Foes have their playbook, and instead of ripping it up, they’d surely add appendices.

So, if you’re going to endorse Clinton – and that is every registered voter’s God-given right – you’re better off keeping your reasons steeped in realistic outcomes.

Instead of “unite our nation,” try, “she’s well-trained in dealing with unrelenting adversity, so nothing Mitch McConnell says or does will slow her roll.”

To pretend that a Hillary Clinton presidency would, in any way, bring opposing forces together in a united front to cure what ails a broken country sits barely on the non-commitment side of sanity.

I know, I know. Kenney’s quotes were crafted in a political sphere with political intentions. But, everything I’ve gleaned from covering Kenney (from whom I sought comment for this story and will update should he get in touch) for however-many years is he’s got a penchant for sharing real talk.

He sure as heck didn’t do that today.