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Friday, December 10, 2004

Opposition beats Bernard Kerik

Posted by Bob Brigham

Bernard Kerik was forced to withdraw his name from consideration to lead Homeland Security -- that much you have probably already heard and if so we can agree it to be true.

However, the agreement ends there with far different reasons given for this action:

  1. Kerik decided to let the terrorists win.
  2. The official version is true and revelations of Kerik employing an illegal immigrant house keeper caused him to volunteer to withdraw his name.
  3. He was asked to withdraw after being stomped online as being unqualified, corrupt, incompetent, and opposed to free speech.

Now on my first day here I don't want to go running my mouth calling people stoopid, but the fact that this won't be discussed until further re-writes is exactly why this is breaking on a Friday night.

All administrations, and this administration in particular, know this is how you kill a story. Examining the news as it is being written tonight shows how easily the White House can outwit the media. The interns and junior staff who end up working on Friday nights aren't going to risk their careers by writing what everyone knows so they stick to the official version and leave the speculation -- no matter how obvious -- for someone else.

Tonight, that means me. So let me tell you the lessons we can draw from this story. First, if the President appoints somebody unqualified simply because they are loyal, we can win. I would go so far as to say we have an obligation to win. Second, we need to throw everything we have at poor nominations. The White House might be fine with unqualified, corrupt, incompetent, and opposed to free speech -- but sometimes it takes having a non-American cleaning the bathroom for a Bush nominee to be considered unfit.

In the coming days I'm certain the blogosphere will have a strong discussion about what worked in beating back Kerik. I look forward to participating and learning how we can deploy best practices in future efforts. But it is a Friday night so I'm going to sign off...be nice to the interns and keep one eye on the White House Press Office.

Posted at 11:33 PM in Activism | Technorati


I'm interested in hearing about any "incompetence" and corruption regarding Kerik that you mention ... because this has been a theme of the Bush administration with people like Ashcroft, Wolfowitz and Condi ... hey, add Rumsfeld to that (I was actually struck when I found out that he too was a draft dodger during the Vietnam War ... so how can he possibly know about the needs of those in combat?) It's a shame we haven't been able to pick up on this more; it was drowned out by the loud voice of the left worried about their library records being peeked at and all the folks who thought Bush looked like a chimp ... in the future lets focus on the REAL problems of the administration, in the war, on the environment, etc. I remember when all the scandals and problems in Iraq broke this past spring and Bush was beaten down ... you're insights on their masterful use of the press are well taken. I think they are planning to cut and run from Iraq this coming year, that's why they want the elections there in Jan ... so what's next on their agenda?

Posted by: Marc at December 12, 2004 11:07 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It amazes me that the Kerik withdrawal...over many stories that have already been disproven over the years in the NY press, makes bigger headlines than Mark Rich.

Rich got caught with his hand in the cookie jar yet again...in fact, only a month after receiving an extremely unusual pardon from President Clinton. Hmmmmmmm.

Posted by: John at December 13, 2004 08:28 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment