Monday, December 18, 2006
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP: Rangel: I support Giuliani-Kerik ticket

“I’m supporting Giuliani for the Republican,” Rep. Charles Rangel (news, bio, voting record) said Monday, pausing briefly before delivering the punchline.

“Kerik, as well,” he added, referring to Giuliani’s disgraced former police commissioner Bernard Kerik.

Kerik pleaded guilty earlier this year to misdemeanor charges of taking money from contractors with alleged mob ties, when he was the city’s corrections chief. He was also President Bush’s choice to head the Department of Homeland Security, but the nomination was scrapped after questions arose about his background.

Political observers say Giuliani’s relationship with Kerik could be a problem if the former mayor goes ahead with a run for president.

Giuliani’s relationship with Kerik is one of many issues that have long made me think it unlikely that he will run. This is the kind of situation that will be under a microscope should Rudy run–and given their relationship both when they were in NYC government and later at Rudy’s firm, will mean the potential for a lot of guilt (or at least mud) by association. And what will it all end up saying about Rudy’s judgment? Those are the kinds of things that can kill a presidential run. Take that and Rudy’s marriages (and affair, for that matter) and one wonders what Rudy’s public image would look like at the end of the day.

Right now Giuliani’s reputation is worth literally millions of dollars annually. If he loses that, it could be quite a blow to his pocketbook. I just don’t see it being worth the risk given that he is hardly a shoe-in for the nomination to begin with.

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