Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Giuliani Hopes for Kerik-esque Performance in the White House

Yesterday the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, claimed that, "if I have the same degree of success and failure [as has Bernard Kerik] as president of the United States, this country will be in great shape." Anyone with any knowledge of Kerik should be taken aback, as I was, at this statement. Kerik, the police commissioner of New York for a little over a year (August 21, 2000 to December 31, 2001), has had a rocky decade or two, to say the least. Giuliani, for one reason or another, is in love with this guy and this is seriously going to hurt his presidential campaign. Kerik has been proven to have been in cahoots with organized crime-connected construction company Interstate Industrial; a company that paid for $165,000 worth of renovations for his Bronx apartment. In return, Kerik lobbied hard for the company, but that lobbying proved futile when a Kerik friend, who he got hired at Interstate, was caught in a stock scandal with a mob soldier that Interstate had done business with (the whole mess is laid out nicely in this article). As a result, the company lost its $85 million in city contracts. Guess they could do business with the city that Giuliani was in charge of because they were not part of the five families?

Giuliani, of course, claims ignorance when it comes to Kerik's misdeeds. Giuliani has never really been one to listen to other people, as he ignored half of his cabinet when he appointed Kerik as police commissioner. Giuliani did not care that Kerik never graduated high school and that any position above a captain in the NYPD required a college degree. He did not care that Kerik was involved with Interstate (Giuliani claims not to have known this, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary). Kerik was his man. The two certainly are similar people. They both have overcome upbringings from rougher backgrounds with Kerik's mother having been a prostitute who abandoned her son and Giuliani's father a convicted felon who was hired muscle for the mob (though Giuliani's dad never abandoned the family, his predicate status made it hard to keep a job). But, they both were part of failed marriages and have cheated on their wives with women named Judith. Giuliani, quite infamously, with Judith Nathan (which, of course, was followed by his public announcement of separation from then-wife Donna Hanover before consulting her about it) and Kerik with Judith Regan in an apartment overlooking Ground Zero that was originally intended for those working the site.

Many, including Giuliani himself, point to Kerik's work as police commissioner and say that it outweighs his personal shortcomings (though I would hardly call abusing a public office a "personal" issue). Giuliani says that "There were mistakes made with Bernie Kerik, but what’s the ultimate result for the people of New York City? The ultimate result for the people of New York City was a 74 percent reduction in shootings, a 60 percent reduction in crime..." Kerik was Commissioner from August 2000 to December 2001. In 2000, the crime index was 288,368 (meaning there were 288,368 reported crimes in the year 2000). In 2001 the crime index was 263,764, not including the 3000+ homicides that occurred on 9/11. That is a drop in reported crime of 8.5%, a far cry from the 60% that Giuliani attributes to Kerik. Maybe Giuliani was referring to the whole period of the 90s and attributing it to Kerik, in which case I would be pretty pissed if I were Ray Kelly, William Bratton, or Howard Safir.

So, at the end of the day, Giuliani is not fit to be president of this country. The man just does not have the credentials to do it. Kerik may be to Giuliani what Chappaquiddick was to Ted Kennedy (that's a good SAT analogy for all you high school juniors), except that Giuliani had a poor approval rating as mayor of New York up until September 10, 2001. The fact that he is the Republican front runner is troubling. Either people are not doing their homework when it comes to these presidential elections, or people just do not care (personally, I do not know which is scarier). Maybe if Giuliani gets the Republican ticket he can have Kerik as his running mate. Peace.

Photos (top to bottom) - Rudy Giuliani (, Bernard Kerik after an arrest in 2006 (, Kerik and Giuliani; like two peas in a pod (

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