Bernard Kerik’s decision to withdraw his name as homeland security secretary-designate because of issues involving hired help at home is not the first time a president has had his Cabinet and other high-level appointments thrown awry by the nanny problem.
A look at three individuals who withdrew their names as nominees by President Clinton for Cabinet and other high-level posts because of similar political obstacles:
- Zoe Baird: The attorney who was Clinton’s first choice to be attorney general also became the first of a series of nominees to fall victim to the “nanny problem.” She had not paid Social Security taxes for a housekeeper — an illegal immigrant — as required by law. Baird asked the White House to withdraw her nomination.
- Lani Guinier: A Clinton classmate at Yale University Law School, she was Clinton’s choice to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division. She also had not paid taxes for a domestic worker.
- Kimba Wood: The nomination of the federal district judge to be attorney general never went forward after the disclosure that she had hired an illegal immigrant as a baby sitter. She had paid the required Social Security taxes and broke no laws.