If you're perhaps only vaguely familiar with whole sordid tale of Rudy Giuliani and Bernie Kerik, the NYT delivers the story
in spades today, with a nearly 3,000-word effort at capturing the relationship between America's Mayor and the mobbed-up former jail warden who nearly became the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security:
Mr. Kerik was a comic book hero come to life, a decorated undercover detective with a ponytail and earrings, thick biceps and a taste for four-letter words as nouns, verbs and adjectives. He cultivated relationships with powerful people, including an influential sheriff who five years earlier had made him the youngest jail warden in the history of Passaic County, N.J.
When Mr. Giuliani ran for mayor in 1993, Mr. Kerik organized his security detail of off-duty officers, reserving the weekend shift for himself.
When Mr. Giuliani became mayor, he gave Mr. Kerik a job in the Correction Department. A year later, the mayor asked him to drop by Gracie Mansion.
The two men sat upstairs and shared a bottle of red wine, a gift to the mayor from Nelson Mandela. Mr. Giuliani said he planned to appoint Mr. Kerik as first deputy correction commissioner.
Mr. Kerik, who wrote of this in his autobiography, âThe Lost Son,â was taken aback; he was a year removed from being a police detective.
âMayor, I appreciate your confidence in me, I really do,â he said. âBut I ran a jail. One jail. Rikers is like 10 jails.â
Just do it, the mayor replied.
Mr. Kerik followed Mr. Giuliani downstairs to a dimly lighted room. There waited Mr. Giulianiâs boyhood chum Peter J. Powers, who was first deputy mayor, and other aides. One by one, they pulled Mr. Kerik close and kissed his cheek.
âI wonder if he noticed how much becoming part of his team resembled becoming part of a mafia family,â Mr. Kerik wrote. âI was being made.â