Rocky Week Ahead for Holder
By Ben Pershing
For all the talk last week of Congress standing up to Barack Obama on his proposed stimulus package, Leon Panetta and a handful of other flashpoints, lawmakers will get their first chance to draw actual blood Thursday when Eric Holder goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee for confirmation as attorney general. The betting here is that he will be confirmed, but Republicans do plan to make things difficult for Holder over his career in private practice and his role in Clinton-era pardons.
However many Republican critics emerge this week, Team Obama is still strongly backing Holder. In an interview taped Saturday for washingtonpost.com's new video series, "The Obama Era: Voices of Change," former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe predicted there would be "a lot of support" for Holder in the Senate. Asked whether he was disappointed that Holder failed to disclose on a Senate questionnaire that he had done work for Rod Blagojevich's administration, Plouffe said, "No, not at all." Plouffe said he would not be involved in any of the "murder boards" to prepare Obama's nominees for confirmation but said he had "a lot of confidence" that their candidacies would be well-managed.
Obama himself called Holder a man of "unimpeachable integrity" -- probably a poor word choice, given the circumstances -- during his weekend interview with George Stephanopoulos, though of course the real news from that session was all about the dog.
Posted at 9:15 AM ET on Jan 12, 2009
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