Has Holder become a liability for the Obama Administration?
Yesterday’s contempt vote in the Republican controlled House against Attorney General Eric Holder could spell deep trouble for Obama. Not just for the lockdown of documents concerning Fast and Furious, but also for his re-election bid. Over the past 3 1/2 years, Holder has become the most unpopular member of the Obama Administration.
He has also been involved with several controversial decisions from his response to the Fast and Furious probe to his department’s suits against state immigration laws to the campaign to halt GOP-led voter ID laws in Florida and elsewhere — that have riled conservatives, even some Democrats.
And the contempt vote is just another strike against Holder and it could cost Obama his chance at re-election.
“I think that it’s the biggest non-economic story (in 2012),” GOP pollster Adam Geller said of Fast and Furious. “You can bet that it’s going to certainly get some mention, as it should, as a political issue.” Fox News
Although Holder claims to be a defender of civil rights, among Democrats, he has a strange way of antagonizing Republicans. And the public doesn’t think much of him either. Geller said he expects outside political groups, though not necessarily the Mitt Romney campaign itself, to make Fast and Furious and potentially Holder’s other controversies an issue in the general election race.
And a few congressional Democrats, indicating an early concern about being tied to Holder in a tough election year, broke with their party Thursday. Seventeen House Democrats voted for contempt. But for now the Administration is still rallying around Holder. Yet some leading, powerful Democrats are concerned over Fast and Furious.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer defended Holder in a statement released Thursday, describing him as “an excellent attorney general.”
He noted that Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who led the contempt charge, “acknowledged that he had no evidence — or even the suspicion — that the attorney general knew of the misguided tactics used in this operation.” Fox News
Still, on Thursday, Holder was defiant in the face of the contempt votes Thursday, one criminal and one civil. He described it as “the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided and politically motivated investigation during an election year.”
Then he went on to defend other initiatives that have agitated his GOP opponents, such as the DOJ crackdown on state laws requiring photo ID in order to vote.
“The Justice Department has continued to move forward in fulfilling its critical law enforcement responsibilities whether it is with regard to prosecuting financial and health care fraud … or challenging proposed voting changes and redistricting maps that would potentially disenfranchise millions of voters. This Department of Justice has not been afraid to act nor have I been,” he said. “Now some of these enforcement decisions were not politically popular and helped to explain the actions that were taken today by the House. As attorney general, I do not look to that which is politically expedient.” Fox News