Very, very interesting.
From the Cash-n-Kerik-Catch-Up front, in the Monday Times piece by David Sanger, White House officials, including Scott McClellan seem to make quite clear that they were aware of all the issues now being discussed about Bernard Kerik's background. And that it was only the alleged nanny problem, which they had no way of discovering absent Kerik's volunteering the information, that came as a surprise. And that it was that alone that sank his nomination.
Now, clearly the White House is trying to walk back the quickly congealing sense that they were sloppy and impulsive in selecting someone to run the department that covers the issue that President Bush has made the defining issue of his presidency.
But look what that means.
They seem to be stipulating to their knowing about and being untroubled by a) Kerik's long-standing ties to an allegedly mobbed-up Jersey construction company (see yesterday's piece in the Daily News and tomorrow's in the Times), sub-a) that Kerik received numerous unreported cash gifts from Lawrence Ray, an executive at said Jersey construction company (Ray was later indicted along with Edward Garafola, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano's brother-in-law, and Daniel Persico, nephew of Colombo Family Godfather Carmine "The Snake" Persico and others on unrelated federal charges tied to what the Daily News called a "$40 million, mob-run, pump-and-dump stock swindle." b) that Riker's Island prison became a hotbed of political corruption and cronyism on his watch, c) that he is accused by nine employees of the hospital he worked at providing security in Saudi Arabia of using his policing powers to pursue the personal agenda of his immediate boss, d) that a warrant for his arrest (albeit in a civil case) was issued in New Jersey as recently as six years ago, e) that as recently as last week he was forced to testify in a civil suit in a case covering the period in which he was New York City correction commissioner, in which the plaintiff, "former deputy warden Eric DeRavin III contends Kerik kept him from getting promoted because he had reprimanded the woman [Kerik was allegedly having an affair with], Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero," or f) his rapid and unexplained departure from Baghdad.
None of this stuff gave the White House or Al Gonzales second thoughts?
As Regis would say, is that your final answer?