With the Democrats possessing 58 (after the imminent seating of Roland Burris) or 59 (if Al Franken wins the court fight) votes in the Senate, it won’t be easy (make that well nigh impossible!) to stop an Obama Cabinet nominee. But there’s more reason to believe that the Eric Holder fight could be interesting. And even if he wins, he will face some embarrassing questions.
The battle lines have been drawn for what is shaping up to be a bruising confirmation battle for Attorney General nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. , though even his foes acknowledge he probably will be confirmed to lead the Obama administration’s Justice Department.
Partisan posturing continued Wednesday with some Republicans attacking Mr. Holder’s prior work in the Justice Department and questioning whether he will show the independence necessary to succeed in its top post. Democrats and civil rights leaders defended Mr. Holder as eminently qualified and accused critics of playing politics.
Confirmation hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee are scheduled to start Jan. 15.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican and a member of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters Wednesday Mr. Holder’s quest for confirmation will not be “smooth sailing.”
“He still may end up being attorney general. And I wouldn’t say that I wouldn’t vote for him because you can’t say he’s not qualified for it; he is qualified,” Mr. Grassley said. “But there’s a lot of people that are qualified. They have other reasons that maybe they shouldn’t be in that position.”
Republicans are gearing up to vigorously question Mr. Holder during the hearing, particularly about his time as the deputy attorney general, the Justice Department’s No. 2 post, under President Clinton.
This increasingly looks like a target of opportunity for conservative groups. Heck, if Sen. Arlen Specter is getting involved, you know there’s got to be something there!
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