You know what actually could undercut the president's solid support among African-Americans (as well as further reduce his support among liberals, me included)? Appointing Ray Kelly to replace Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary. Is this a sign Obama's going to do it?
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly played down a shoutout from the vice president Friday during Janet Napolitano’s sendoff as secretary of Homeland Security -- a job some have said the city's top cop is suited for.Napolitano's last day on the job was Friday, and Obama still hasn't named a replacement. Compare that with secretary of state: John Kerry's nomination was announced more than a month before Hillary Clinton left office. I know Obama can drag his feet in making appointments, but this is a high-profile position. What's the delay?
Biden, after his remarks, walked the edge of the stage to give Kelly a fist-bump of solidarity, quietly asking him if he was "doing OK."
... After Napolitano announced her plans to step down in July, top New York lawmakers called on President Obama to tap Kelly for the post.
Days later Obama called Kelly "very well-qualified for the job."
Sources say Kelly wants it, but skeptics note that the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program, now subject to federal oversight, and its post-9/11 surveillance of Muslim communities could hurt his bid....
It may be that Kelly is waiting to see whether he'll keep his current job. The two Republican mayoral front-runners here in New York both say they want to keep him on, but the Democratic front-runner, Bill de Blasio, wants to replace him, as does one of his top challengers, Bill Thompson. (The other leading challenger, Christine Quinn, would keep him on.)
If no one is named to replace Napolitano between now and November, or at least between now and, say, a series of polls showing de Blasio clearly headed for victory in the general election, that means it's going to be Kelly. And that would be another unforced Obama error.