NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly may be contemplating saying yes to the top job at the Department of Homeland Security, a prominent supporter says.
Congressman Pete King told the Daily News on Wednesday that the word from people close to Kelly is that New York's top cop is 'not saying no' to the thought of serving in President Obama's cabinet.
Moves certainly seem to be afoot for a sudden coronation with Obama lauding Kelly in a TV interview this week as 'one of the best there is' when it comes to fighting terrorism in the nation’s cities.
The President added: 'Mr. Kelly might be very happy where he is. But if he’s not, I’d want to know about it. . . Obviously, he’d be very well-qualified for the job.'
The timing is fortuitous as Kelly could be out of a job at the end of the year with Democrats running for mayor saying they don’t plan to keep him on as head of the NYPD.
In the meantime Kelly is refusing to say whether he would move to Washington to help police the nation.
Kelly's name was first floated as a replacement candidate after Janet Napolitano announced her resignation last Friday.
Senator Chuck Schumer reportedly immediately called the White House to push Kelly’s name, while King also publicly urged his consideration.
'I expected him to call me and tell me to knock it off, and he hasn’t yet,' King said. 'I think he’d consider it.'
Schumer’s office said that the White House was “noncommittal” toward the senior senator’s pitch.
New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney on Wednesday called Kelly 'uniquely qualified' for the Homeland Security post, citing his experience in the NYPD as well as his work in Washington during the Clinton administration as the head of the nation’s border patrol operations. Maloney also cited his experience overseeing enforcement agents at the Treasury Department.
Meanwhile King said Kelly had called him since Napolitano’s announcement, but 'only to thank him for his kind words,' he said.