'It's About Time'
For Gonzales to Go
Democratic presidential candidates offered a collective "it's about time!" to the news that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned.
Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who called for Gonzales' resignation on March 13 of this year, was first out of the gate.
"Better late than never," Edwards said in a statement.
On CNN later this morning, Edwards added that "I've been calling for months for Alberto Gonzales to resign, I think for a whole variety of things, which the American people are now aware of his politicizing of the justice department. I think it's a good thing that he's gone."
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who voted against confirming Gonzales, said in a statement that "I have long believed that Alberto Gonzales subverted justice to promote a political agenda, and so I am pleased that he has finally resigned today. The President needs to nominate an Attorney General who will be the people's lawyer, not the President's lawyer, and in an Obama Administration that person will first and foremost defend and promote the rights and liberties enshrined in our Constitution."
Campaigning in Iowa, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said the Gonzales resignation "is long overdue. The President must nominate an Attorney General who is a lawyer for the American people not a political arm of the White House."
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd issued a statement this morning saying that the Justice Department under Gonzales became "a political wing of the Bush Administration" and that "his resignation is long overdue."
"I will only vote to confirm a nominee for Attorney General who is truly independent and who will guarantee reforms that restore and uphold the Constitution," Dodd said.
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, in a statement released from her Senate office, called the resignation "long overdue" and accused Gonzales of being loyal to "the President, not the American people."
"Because he betrayed his obligations and the trust of the American people, I welcome today's announcement that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned his post as Attorney General of the United States," she said.
Without naming him, Clinton also took a swipe at Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, who is rumored as a possible choice to lead the department.
"The second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is one more reminder that the President must appoint someone to lead the Department of Justice with the leadership and competence necessary to defend the Constitution," she wrote.
Republican candidates for president have not yet issued statements about the resignation.
--Michael D. Shear
Washington Post editors
August 27, 2007; 12:20 PM ET
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