Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Rudy Climbs on the Scandal Machine, Updated

It looks like Rudy Giuliani crony Bernard Kerik is going to be indicted tomorrow "on a list of charges that include tax fraud, corruption and conspiracy." Having been a successful prosecutor, Giuliani doesn't understand how scandal works for people on the wrong side of the scandal machine.

Unfortunately for Giuliani, it's going to be almost as painful for his presidential campaign as it's going to be for Kerik himself.

When Kerik is indicted, "Giuliani Pal Bernie Kerik" images will be all over television for at least 2 or 3 days as the American nation gets to see Kerik walking too and from the court house, mug shots, and pictures of Kerik with a smiling Giuliani. After that, there will be periodic surges of news from the legal process. Detailed reports of the pre-trial manuevering, jury selection, and conflicts over evidence will make Kerik's lawyer a household name. Then there will be the trial, the verdict, and the sentencing if there's a guilty verdict.

And at every stage, the primary question being asked will be "what does the Kerik case say about Giuliani's judgment?" Old scandals concerning Albert Nouima will resurface and more recent scandals like the Abramoff case and the fired federal prosecutors will come back to mind.

Bernie Kerik's indictment could be a big problem for Rudy. At the very least, Giuliani is in for some difficult times as he steps into the Scandal Machine.

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