It might not be a good sign for the Republican frontrunner when the person he begged George W. Bush to appoint as Secretary of Homeland Security is indicted on 14 counts of fraud and conspiracy.
Bernard Kerik, who was the first to "Join Rudy" and owes his career in "law enforcement" to the former mayor, is charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud; obstructing or impeding the administration of the FBI; aiding and assisting the preparation of a false and fraudulent tax return; subscribing to false tax returns; false statements on a loan application; and false statements to the federal government.
Giuliani's cheerleading for Kerik when he urged Bush to appoint him to the cabinet might lead voters to a moment of clarity: Anyone who would advocate turning over a large swathe of the national security state to a wheeler-dealer, self-promoting con artist like Bernard Kerik, who is now facing possibly 20 years in a federal pen, might not have demonstrated the kind of good judgment the highest office in the land requires.
And Giuliani claims he is the presidential candidate who is going to keep us safe.
Mr. Kerik is now out on bail and awaiting trial. His high-profile court appearances loom as a possible distraction for potential Giuliani voters.
My prediction is that Kerik will not be able to resist the television cameras and will probably appear on Larry King and write a book about his travails with the law. (The most appropriate book publisher would be a certain comely female with whom Kerik exchanged bodily fluids while exhausted 9/11 rescue workers fruitlessly knocked on the door hoping to be let in to their own apartment for some much deserved R & R.)
Rudolph Giuliani has an impressive stable of prominent backers including Pat Robertson, Norman Podhoretz, John Ellis (the Bush cousin who called the 2000 election for Fox News), and other assorted neo-cons, uber-cons, and right-wing evangelicals. These people will not shun their man simply because his closest adviser and protégé was busted on federal public corruption charges. Hey, it could happen to anybody, just ask "Duke" Cunningham.
A "President Giuliani" would probably appoint a Secretary of Defense cut from the same cloth as Bernard Kerik. He could fill the national security bureaucracy with a bunch of little Keriks to prolong the Bush era feeding frenzy of lucrative no-bid "security" contracts.
Giuliani is currently the Republican front runner. His inspiring vision of an America with more torture, more foreign wars, and more crimping of civil liberties seems to have touched a nerve with the GOP faithful. I wouldn't doubt if Karl Rove comes out of retirement to apply his stagecraft for Giuliani in the general election if he wins the nomination. Giuliani also has the power of Bush's spooks in the federal apparatus backing him. It could be a close election -- close enough to rig. It might be "Giuliani Time!"
Can you imagine the types of corrupt neo-cons Giuliani would appoint to key positions in the Pentagon? We might someday view the Donald Rumsfeld-Paul Wolfowitz years as the "good old days."