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December 11, 2004
Call It The Shotgun Approach

After enduring days of innuendo, character assassinations, and pseudoscandals, Bernard Kerik finally withdrew his nomination for the top job at the Department of Homeland Security for a surprising reason -- hiring an illegal immigrant as a domestic worker:

Bernard Kerik, New York City's former top cop, withdrew his name from consideration to be President Bush's homeland security secretary, a victim of the embarrassing "nanny problem" that has killed the nominations of other prominent officials. ...

While assembling paperwork for his Senate confirmation, Kerik said he uncovered questions about the immigration status of a housekeeper-nanny that he employed. As homeland security secretary, Kerik would oversee the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

"I am convinced that, for personal reasons, moving forward would not be in the best interests of your administration, the Department of Homeland Security or the American people," Kerik said in a letter to Bush.

He said he could not allow personal matters "distract from the focus and progress of the Department of Homeland Security and its crucial endeavors."

Kerik only now had questions about the status of his housekeeper? That sounds awfully convenient. I like Kerik, but he's been in law enforcement for a long time now. He should have known to check her out when he first hired her. He became Corrections Department commissioner four years ago, a position of fairly high visibility in New York. Didn't he think that having an illegal immigrant as a personal servant would be a problem there? I find it difficult to believe that this is the real reason, although you could make the same arguments about Kimba Wood, I suppose.

I believe that Kerik would have done a fine job at DHS, and it's a shame that this -- or something else -- derailed the opportunity. Don't expect to wait too long for a replacement to be named; the Bush administration usually fills these slots rapidly.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 11, 2004 7:59 AM

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» Nanny, Nanny, Nanny, Nanny, Batman! from Sortapundit
Holy poetic justice, Commissioner! I'm not sure how employment works in the US, but over here in the UK you have to provide your National Insurance Number before you can be paid - or, if you are an immigrant, you must present a work permit to pro... [Read More]

Tracked on December 11, 2004 8:45 AM

» On Kerik: My natural cynicism for the malicious intent of the media is showing from rand holman's THE DAILY POLEMIC
For Kerik to call the President on a Friday night, at 8:30 pm, to personally tell him he was withdrawing his name, is most unusual, and, from a business standpoint, inappropriate in its timing alone, because that's only done when it's . . . an emergenc... [Read More]

Tracked on December 11, 2004 1:38 PM

» Miscellanea: Insult Comic Dog Edition from Decision '08
Captain Ed shares Roger Simon's suspicion that Nannygate is a convenient cover story... [Read More]

Tracked on December 11, 2004 7:12 PM

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