Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by masomenos, Nov 18, 2008.
President-elect Obama has decided to tap Eric Holder as his attorney general, putting the veteran Washington lawyer in place to become the first African-American to head the Justice Department, according to two legal sources close to the presidential transition.
Holder, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration, still has to undergo a formal “vetting” review by the Obama transition team before the selection is final and is publicly announced, said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified talking about the transition process. But in the discussions over the past few days, Obama offered Holder the job and he accepted, the source said. The announcement is not likely until after Obama announces his choices to lead the Treasury and State departments.
Holder, 57, has been on Obama’s “short list” for attorney general from the outset. A partner at the D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling, Holder served as co-chief (along with Caroline Kennedy) of Obama’s vice-presidential selection process. He also actively campaigned for Obama throughout the year and grew personally close to the president-elect. Holder has not returned a call seeking comment; a spokeswoman for the Obama transition team told Newsweek in an e-mail early Tuesday afternoon that no decision has been made.
The sources said the Obama transition team is still debating over who should serve under Holder in the key post of deputy attorney general. One top candidate, favored by Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and other former Clinton White House officials, is Elena Kagan, dean of the Harvard Law School and a former lawyer in the White House counsel’s office under Clinton. Another top candidate, favored by other Obama advisors, is David Ogden, a former chief of staff to Attorney General Janet Reno, who is currently heading Obama’s Justice Department transition team. Kagan brings legal policy credentials; Ogden has more experience in the Justice Department trenches.
The only hesitancy about Holder’s selection was that he himself had reservations about going through a confirmation process that was likely to revive questions about his role in signing off on the controversial pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich. Although there is no evidence that Holder actively pushed the pardon, he was criticized for not raising with the White House the strong objections that some Justice Department lawyers and federal prosecutors in New York had to pardoning somebody who had fled the country. But after reviewing the evidence in the case, and checking with staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Obama aides and Holder both decided the issue was highly unlikely to prove an obstacle to his confirmation, one of the sources said--especially given the Democrats’ more sizable post-election majority in the Senate.
A New York City native who graduated from Columbia University and Columbia Law School, Holder spent years as a federal prosecutor—a job in which he earned a reputation as tough and aggressive foe of public corruption. After serving in the pubic integrity section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and later a District of Columbia Superior Court judge, Holder was named by President Clinton as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. He became deputy attorney general in 1997 under Janet Reno and was viewed as a centrist on most law enforcement issues, though he has sharply criticized the secrecy and the expansive views of executive power advanced by the Bush Justice Department.
This story was updated Tuesday afternoon.
More "Change we can believe in".
What's wrong with selecting a guy who was held in high regards by Reagan and Clinton and who has experience as AG already? Did you want him to tab Jon Voigt just because it'd be shaking things up?
He has the qualifications for the job he should be judged on the job he does.
This is going to be Clinton's third term.
Isn't this guy dating Oprah? no wonder she was campaigning so hard for Obama, this guy looks like her lover.
No he is not Oprah's friendboy. His name is Stedman, IIRC.
Stedman! Too funny! :laugh2:
The comedy this administration is going to produce will be priceless
Confused about what???
The god almighty of change keeps dipping into the Clinton pool again and again.
You don't see the comedy in this?
No, it would be funny if Obama picked Janet Reno as Attorney General. Like I said, did you want him to pick someone unqualified just because that person has no ties to Clinton? Holder is, by nearly all accounts, qualified for the job. He was supported by Reagan, he was confirmed unanimously by a Republican leaning senate when Clinton tabbed him to be under Reno and he stepped in and served as acting AG for a short while under W. Obama isn't dipping into the Clinton pool, he's dipping into the "qualified for the job" pool.
Gee, another Clinton retread. What a surprise.
Guys, this is somewhat a good thing, I'm no Clinton fan but he was not hyper liberal. He was an engaging, bright, colorful president that had no moral fiber and led by the polls but it did keep him from being as left as his 1992 campaign advertised him to his constituents.
Thanks to the republican congress he was even a fiscal conservative, yes his cabinet was full of dipsticks but I'd sure as heck prefer Obama be center left than far left.
This is a small victory, it is the hyper liberals who will be most displeased.
Root for this man as commander in chief and oppose him if he goes after your liberties and the protection of the unborn, whenever possible live in unity with him but oppose him when it is not negotiable.
For the record i don't think Clinton was great president for some of the reasons stated above but he wasn't Jimmy Carter, which is a moral victory and you've got to take what you can get at times.
There are only so many people with experience at these levels.
I am a huge Obama supporter but given his youth and relatively limited experience, he needs very much to surround himself with a strong cast of experienced people.
Where exactly would that come from if not the Clinton admin?
Forgive my cynicism but if you are openly timid of his inexperience why did you cast a ballot for a man you think will need robust tutoring before he can do anything independent of past policies since he was elected with a promise not to repeat past policies which would put him on a collision course against the last two administrations if not four. (long sentence)
To be honest i think you stand to be more disappointed with the man than conservatives.
Once again, all he is doing is retreading the Clintonistas. And you think this is all about a new direction?
No, I don't think it's all about a new direction. I think it's about making sure there are qualified people in Obama's cabinet. Even though Hillary, Holder and Emanuel are all "Clintonistas" they'll also all be serving in new capacities. It's like saying that when Jerry passes on the Cowboys to Stephen there won't be any change. Of course there will be change, they aren't the same man and Stephen will have more power. Yes some things may not change, some things don't need to change, but other qualities will change, even if they're subtle.