If this was the mayor’s way of reassuring his people, he could have picked a better approach. When Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney took his turn Saturday at a news conference about the status of a section of Interstate 95 that collapsed in the city, he was trying to boost President Joe Biden. He ended up making himself — and the president — look even worse. At the news conference, Kenney said his phone kept getting a call from a number in the 202 area code in the aftermath of the collapse, but he declined to answer it, thinking it was spam, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Finally, a staffer made him change his mind. “Please answer, the president’s calling you,” the staffer said, according to Kenney’s account, delivered at the event where he appeared with Biden, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman and other elected officials. (For those who are curious, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wasn’t in attendance — he was in Japan, according to Insider, but confident reconstruction would begin within weeks.) Kenney wasn’t getting spammed. The call he said he was ignoring was coming from the White House. “He called me,” the mayor said. “I didn’t call him — he called us. He called us about this. And he was always there.” It’s unclear whether the story is even partially true — it certainly doesn’t sound like it. Clearly, it was supposed to boost Biden, but the impact was exactly the opposite. Instead of painting a picture of a hands-on chief executive reaching out from Washington, Kenney left the impression that Biden’s White House lacked the wit to figure out how to make contact with a local official dealing with an emergency situation. The mayor also didn’t exactly make himself look like a genius. Let’s assume Kenney knows the area code for Washington is 202 (any Democrat should). What kind of big-city mayor, in the midst of a catastrophic road collapse that killed a truck driver and snarled traffic on one of the country’s biggest automotive corridors indefinitely, doesn’t take a call from D.C. because it might be spam? Kenney is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and a product of Philadelphia’s Democratic machine. (The one that, in 2020, delivered votes for Biden against then-President Donald Trump by a more than 2-1 margin.) To say he hasn’t exactly covered himself with glory in his eight years in office would be giving him too much credit. His administration has stood by helplessly as one of the country’s most historic cities — where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were born, where Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky” made the Art Museum steps famous, for cryin’ out loud– has allowed entire blocks to be overrun by drugged-out zombies, to the point where it’s being used in Mexico as an object lesson in the dangers of drugs. Like other Democrats nationwide, he’s pandered to the Black Lives Matter movement, to the point of insulting the city’s Italian population by ordering the removal of a Christopher Columbus statue from a city plaza named for the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi. After a court reversed that decision, Kenney opted to encase the statue in a plywood box. That move got overturned by a state judge as well. During the COVID-19 pandemic, like Democrats in power across the country, the mayor instituted strict restrictions. and he even tried to revive a mask mandate in April 2022, long after most of the country had moved on. He’s abused his executive powers to try to limit the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution when it comes to the right to bear arms. Meanwhile, crime has overrun Kenney’s city (with the assistance of District Attorney Larry Krasner, one of the plague of progressive prosecutors inflicted on the country by billionaire George Soros). Kenney is, in short, a 21st-century Democrat, a slave to the political pieties of his party, enthralled by the idea of government power and utterly inept at using that power effectively for the true betterment of his population. And now, it turns out he doesn’t even have enough sense to answer the telephone for a White House that doesn’t have enough sense to make sure that the mayor of a city facing a catastrophe only miles from his offices in City Hall is going to be free to take a call from the president. Kenney might have been making a joke. He was definitely trying to make President Joe Biden look good. He failed miserably at both. And it’s a better-than-even bet the reconstruction of the bridge is going to be miserable, too, no matter what Pete Buttigieg might be promising. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.