Friday, September 26, 2014

Why waste the political capital?

Obama Didn't Put Up 'Much Of A Fight' To Keep Holder

Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder
Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Gregory Korte, Sept. 25, 2014,

ASHINGTON — Eric Holder, one of the most loyal, liberal and controversial members of President Obama's administration, said Thursday he would retire after nearly six years as attorney general.

Obama formally announced the resignation at the White House, calling Holder "the people's lawyer" and praising him for his work on civil rights.

He championed gay rights, voting rights and a rethinking of drug policies. He clashed with the news media over leak investigations and congressional Republicans over probes into misconduct in the Obama administration. Liberal critics said he wasn't aggressive enough in prosecuting financial crimes.

"I hope I have done honor to the faith you have placed in me, Mr. President," Holder said in an uncharacteristically emotional speech.

Holder's resignation was his own decision, but Obama accepted it "without putting up much of a fight" because of how long the attorney general had served, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday.

Earnest acknowledged that Holder's tenure had become increasingly difficult, saying the attorney general had "confronted a large number of issues — many of them very complicated, some of them maybe controversial." He said Holder has "certainly put in his time in a way that he can be proud of and a way that the country has appreciated."

The attorney general told top Justice Department staff and members of Congress of his plans Thursday morning.

Holder will stay on until his successor is named and confirmed by the Senate, Earnest said. He said Obama has not made a decision on who will replace him.

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