Blue State Red State

Friday, December 03, 2004

Kerik At Homeland Security

The NY Times reports on the ever-changing Cabinet, with the spotlight now mainly on revelations that former NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik will be nominated to replace Tom Ridge as Secretary of Homeland Security. Just as previously suggested of Rudolph Giuliani, Kerik proved at times to be divisive during his tenure in NYC, but just as with the possibility of Giuliani filling the post, the fact that a New Yorker will now presumably be in charge of anti-terrorism preparation and funding bodes well for the city and other major metropolitan areas that have have previously received pathetic federal support for prevention and protection against terrorism. Excerpts (emphasis added):

"'If there were ever a state that deserved to have one of its citizens appointed head of homeland security it's New York,' said Senator Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat, who spoke with Mr. Kerik on Thursday night to congratulate him. 'New York should always be the focal point of homeland security activities, and Bernie Kerik is a tried and true New Yorker who understands our city, our state, our problems and our needs. We look forward to working with him to bring greater help in terms of dollars and security for New York.'

"Mr. Kerik also spoke Thursday night to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who issued a statement saying he knew the needs of New York and other areas at most risk of terrorist attack and could 'ensure that homeland security funds be allocated based on threat, risk and other factors recommended by the 9/11 Commission.'"

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Ridge Is Out, Part 2: Giuliani

The following is a response to Phil's comment on the previous post...

Agreed. Rudolph Giuliani's priorities/values as mayor were often questionable or worse and it's an unfortunate result of mass long-term memory problems that people often overlook how much he had come to be loathed by so many before September 11th made him "America's Mayor" (the way he has traded on that as political capital is, by the way, despicable). But as Phil points out, like it or not, we can't expect to get anyone near ideal under this administration. Giuliani easily rises to the top of the list of potential candidates in terms of desirability once all the politically impossible (meaning non-Republican) candidates are ruled out. And he easily makes much more sense than Ridge ever did simply for the fact that, as mayor of NYC, Giuliani had first hand experience with leading a big bureaucracy involving various arms of law enforcement, transportation, etc. in a target area. The main advantage of a NYer for this post, though, is that he'll be more likely to put the money and resources where it's actually needed as opposed to continuing the ridiculous ways of allocation since the department was created.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Ridge Is Out

Secretary Tom Ridge is announcing (NY Times) his departure from the Department of Homeland Security today, which means there will be another round of guessing who will be appointed to the Cabinet. As obnoxious as his partisan sniping was during the campaign, Rudolph Giuliani is someone with experience squeezing results out of bureaucracy and, while much of his tenure as Mayor of New York was more than a little divisive, the Homeland Security post would admittedly play to his strengths. Plus there's the added benefit for NYC that Giuliani would probably be more likely to push for proper anti-terrorism funding for the city--- something that has yet to happen since September 11, 2001 under the Cabinet of Bush's first term. While this is probably a longshot, it would put the Mayor back into public service and could theoretically help him in potential runs for Governor or Senator.

Edwards' Farewell

The Boston Globe reports on John Edwards' Senate farewell tour in North Carolina. Excerpt:

"'The battle I'm fighting is about building one country. It's not about blue states or red states.'

Edwards suggested that Democrats did not do enough in the 2004 election to tout their religious beliefs.

'The voters did not know where we stood and what we believed in,' he said. 'The American people need to know we are going to keep this country safe.'"