To no one’s surprise in Washington, Attorney General Eric Holder will announce his resignation Thursday after a 5½-year stormy tenure. Holder had made it clear months ago that if the Republicans won back the Senate majority he would leave. That hasn’t happened yet, six-weeks from the election, but apparently the odds look good enough for him to sign off now, Yahoo News reported.
Holder plans to stay on until a successor can be found. That could lead to messy Senate confirmation hearings if the Republicans do indeed win back the majority. They will not extend an olive branch to the White House as they did in 2009 when the highly controversial Holder was nominated shortly after President Obama’s inauguration.
The White House announced that President Obama would make a “personnel announcement” at 4:30 p.m. in the White House’s State Dining Room. News of Holder’s decision was first announced Wednesday by National Public Radio.
The political table is now set for a battle royale for the new attorney general in Obama’s last two years as president. Whoever is confirmed will define the Department of Justice and Obama’s plans for immigration reform and a host of other legalities. The president is fully aware that the Republicans will cast a dark cloud over his successor if it is deemed too liberal. Compromise will most definitely be in the wind, unlike Holder’s situation over five-years-ago.
Holder had a habit of being the target in Washington political crossfire during his years at DOJ. He was castigated by Republicans for the many scandals out of the Obama administration and his lack of effort to investigate them. The “Fast and Furious” government gunrunning operation that cost the life of a border agent became the center of a legal firestorm. He was further denounced by liberals for not taking a harder line on Wall Street after the 2007-2008 financial meltdowns.
Holder made his decision to leave last weekend during a conversation with his old friend, President Barack Obama, at the White House. It may be a very lonely existence for Obama in his last two years, surrounded by a hostile Congress and no political allies at DOJ. Reopening old and stalled investigations may become the order of the day.
The exit of Holder may bring new life to “Fast and Furious,” the IRS scandal, Benghazi, and a host of other delayed high profile cases. Meanwhile, it is assumed Holder will return to his old law firm, the Washington powerhouse firm of Covington and Burling. He worked there in the years prior to being attorney general.
The resignation marks what many think will be a flow of White House resignations after the midterm elections. Barack Obama may indeed need some friends before the end of the Christmas recess for Congress.
* If you have enjoyed this column, may I suggest you press the SUBSCRIBE box? It’s FREE. Thank you for your patronage.
** Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Read my book, “Redistribution of Common Sense: Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009 – 2014,” now available at amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and many other book outlets nationwide.