Mr. Kerik’s withdrawal was the first major blunder in the administration’s process of assembling its second-term cabinet, but not a new experience for Mr. Bush’s team. Four years ago, when Mr. Bush nominated Linda Chavez as labor secretary, it was discovered after the initial vetting process that she had given shelter to, and employed, an illegal immigrant. At the time, Mr. Bush’s aides were outraged and promised to change their methods for reviewing potential nominees, but on Saturday several officials said that because Mr. Bush wanted to make his decisions speedily, their initial review had been quick.
But rest easy:
“I am confident that President Bush will move swiftly to find a replacement for Bernie Kerik,” Senator Collins said in a statement on Saturday.
We count on the President’s swift responses. Look where we might have been if he had taken time to assess the WMD question or the association of Osama Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein.
Anyway, for Kerik, according to Rudolph Giuliani, who recommended Kerik, it was just one little mistake, hiring the illegal nanny. Nothing serious at all:
“…Whenever this happens, there is always the idea that it must be something else, it must be something else,” Mr. Giuliani said. “But that is when there is not a good reason. This is a good reason. Who would actually think he could go forward with this issue?”
Well, Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Kerik thought so. Mr. Kerrik told the press:
“I think when you’re in a position like this, the press, the media and all your enemies try to find things that a person has done wrong,” he said. “But I don’t think that there would have been a problem with the nomination.”
So according to Giuliani, we should not speculate upon any of the (many) other problems related to Mr. Kerik. If we did, do you suppose we might find some of them tied to Mr. Giuliani?
In a related New York Times story yesterday,
Mr. Kerik, who took over the Police Department without a college degree, had credibility with street cops and a rough-hewn charm he used to ingratiate himself with many New Yorkers. But critics contend he was prone to lapses of judgment, pointing to the use of an elite homicide task force to question several people who his book publisher, Judith Regan, believed had stolen her cellphone, and the use of other detectives to research his book, an action for which he was fined by the city’s Conflict of Interest Board.
I’m sure Giulani just found out about this fine for conflict of interest yesterday in the Times, otherwise he would not have recommended Kerik for such a responsible position. And of course the nanny is also beyond the scope of our inquiry, since:
The nanny Mr. Kerik had employed, who has not yet been identified, left the country about two weeks ago, just prior to the announcement of his [Kerik’s] nomination, a former New York City official said on Saturday, adding that her departure had been planned for at least two months.
Apparently somebody plans ahead and covers the possibilities for negative outcomes. Maybe we could get the nanny back and nominate her.