. . . Monday December 13, 2004

Beyond the Nanny

There is no shortage of reasons why Bernie Kerik had to drop himself from Homeland Security contention before he was dropped by the White House. We’ve already seen this administation struggle with an appointee who employed an illegal nanny and Kerik was going to be in charge of immigration laws. But that only scratches the surface of this story.

The latest chapter is served up by Newsday:

In the 48 hours before his withdrawal as nominee for the nation’s top security post, Bernard Kerik and his lawyer scrambled to keep damaging assertions about his past out of the public spotlight.

A week after President George W. Bush announced the former city police commissioner as his choice for Homeland Security secretary, an array of charges and questions about Kerik’s past were coming to a boil, threatening his crafted image as an American legend and portending a rougher Senate confirmation process than first predicted.

On Thursday, the day before he took his name from contention, Kerik, 49, was forced to testify in a civil lawsuit about an alleged affair with a subordinate.

The case, which involves Kerik’s use of authority when he was city correction commissioner between 1998 and 2000, was brought against the city by a former deputy warden. Plaintiff Eric DeRavin III contends Kerik kept him from getting promoted because he had reprimanded the woman, Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero.

W nominated this guy days before he was scheduled to testify in this case. But this is not about the FBI failing to do their job vetting the past (and present) of an incoming candidate. This is about a tightly knit crew of insiders throwing around big time favors with such hubris that they rarely give pause for such details as, say, a person’s qualifications or background.

Kerik steps down, the White House gets mad and blames him and who has a press conference? Well, Mayor Rudy of course. So you need to ask yourself, why would Mayor Rudy feel the need to apologize to Bush about the Kerik nomination?

Folks, these guys are on such a roll, they don’t even have to pretend that they care what you think.

Concentration is important!