Kerik Should Have Been More Forthcoming, Senator Says

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - Former New York City Police Chief Bernard Kerik might have been a good Homeland Security secretary, but the nation will never know.

Kerik asked President Bush to withdraw his nomination on Friday, following revelations that he had hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny for his children. Other allegations involving Kerik's personal and professional conduct also have surfaced in various news accounts.

"I can only conclude that he did not thoroughly answer the questions" that the White House asked of him, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on NBC's "Today" show Monday.

Collins said White House nominee have a "responsibility to be forthcoming and to fully answer questions" that are designed to ferret out problems potential problems with their nominations.

"His strengths were also his vices," Newsweek's Evan Thomas told NBC's "Today" show. "He's a very tough, brave guy...and he gets things done, so maybe he would have been a good homeland security guy."

But, said Thomas, Kerik made a lot of enemies who were "coming out of the woodwork" after his nomination was announced.

Kerik is expected to return to work at the consulting firm founded by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who reportedly recommended Kerik for the Homeland Security job in the first place. Both Giuliani and Kerik have apologized for embarassing President Bush.

President Bush, meanwhile, is expected to name another Homeland Security nominee as soon as possible, in an effort to put the Kerik disappointment behind him.

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