President Bush (news - web sites) on Tuesday chose federal appeals court judge Michael Chertoff to be his new Homeland Security chief, turning to a former federal prosecutor who helped craft the early war on terror strategy.Here's to hoping Chertoff never hired household help. Do you think they asked him specifically during the vetting process?
"Mike has shown a deep commitment to the cause of justice and an unwavering determination to protect the American people," Bush said. "Mike has also been a key leader in the war on terror."
Chertoff headed the Justice Department (news - web sites)'s criminal division from 2001 to 2003, where he played a central role in the nation's legal response to the Sept. 11 attacks, before the president named him to appeals court position in New Jersey.
Chertoff, a federal appellate judge with the 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, would replace Tom Ridge, the department's first chief. "He leaves some very deep shoes to fill," Chertoff said.
"I don't pretend to know him well. I know him by reputation," Ridge said of Chertoff. "He's got great intellect, great energy. He has been an extremely successful lawyer both in the public private and sector.
Chertoff, who rounds out Bush's second-term Cabinet, is actually the president's second pick for the job. Former New York City police chief Bernard Kerik withdrew as nominee last month, citing immigration problems with a family housekeeper.
I'm also wondering if the DHS Secretary will actually impact the day-to-day operations of the Coast Guard; I sincerely doubt it'll impact my job. We could have Smokey the Bear as DHS Secretary, and it wouldn't make a dent on my daily work.