Stand By Your Man
You may have noticed all of the media coverage leading up to today’s unsealed federal grand jury indictment of former New York police commissioner, Bernard Kerik. Much of it has focused on Kerik’s close relationship with Rudy Giuliani, and on what the indictment might mean for the Giuliani campaign.
Political observers have always assumed that their close relationship, and in particular Giuliani’s supporting role in Kerik’s failed nomination for Secretary of Homeland Security in 2004, would get some notice during the campaign, but nothing focuses discussion quite like a criminal indictment.
Whether this issue will be of more than passing interest to voters in part depends on how visibly the legal case unfolds over the next year. But it is likely that some of the other campaigns will continue to use it as an opportunity to raise questions about the soundness of Giuliani’s judgment regarding the selection of close advisors, and about the potential dangers of a chief executive emphasizing personal loyalty over professional qualifications. The latter charge is similar to that leveled at President Bush over the nomination of Harriet Miers and Alberto Gonzales. Not surprisingly, the Giuliani campaign has already signaled that it will not let any Kerik-related attacks go unanswered.
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