Emotional Obama praises emotional Holder
“President Obama credited Eric Holder for a decline in the crime and incarceration rates Thursday at an emotional White House ceremony formally announcing the attorney general’s resignation.
“Obama credited Holder with reinvigorating the department’s Civil Rights division, fighting for gay rights, and spearheading sentencing reform.
“‘Thanks to his efforts since I took office, the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate have gone down by about 10 percent,” Obama said, noting that it was the first time the two had fallen in tandem in 40 years.
“‘We could not be more grateful for everything you’ve done – not just for me and the administration, but the country,” the president added.
“Obama and Holder are close friends, and the bond between them was apparent in their remarks.
“‘You have been there for me,’ Holder said, his voice wavering. ‘I’m proud to call you my friend.'”
Republicans tweeted tears of joy. ABC News
Holder Placeholder . . . Speculation begins on who will replace Holder for Obama’s final two years, with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick holding perhaps the most important qualification of all: Obama likes him.
“Several prominent names could be in the mix, though, and already are starting to get some buzz. Among them are Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“Patrick, 58, a former Justice Department official in the Clinton administration, has been floated as a potential successor since as far back as 2012. He is serving his second and last term as governor.
“Tom Whalen, presidential historian and associate professor of social science at Boston University, suggested Patrick could meet an important test.
“‘Attorney generals tend to be consigliere, people who defend the president’s interests” first, he said. “That is why the president usually picks someone who is a close friend who is beyond doubt loyal to him or her. Deval Patrick fits that to a T.’
Patrick and Obama are close friends and political allies, having campaigned for one another over the years.”
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But on the other hand, Obama digs Harris’s look . . . Would Michelle nix it?
Both Harris and Patrick, though, claim they are not interested.
Return of Big Sis? The Hill thinks former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano may be on Obama’s short list.
Rush Limbaugh thinks Holder may be headed to the Supreme Court. Makes sense.
Al Sharpton is in close contact with the White House, offering his sage advice.
Smooth flight: Whoever replaces Holder will have an easy path through the Senate because Senate Democrats changed the rules. Examiner
Why did he quit? According to Politico:
It was now or never, several current and former administration officials say, and Holder – under pressure to retire from a physician wife worried about a recent health scare, checked the “now” box. “It was a quit-now or never-quit moment,” one former administration official said. “You didn’t want confirmation hearings in 2015 if the Republicans control the Senate. So if he didn’t do it now, there was no way he could ever do it.”
But some think there might be a less innocent reason, like a new judge’s order for Holder to release Fast and Furious papers.
Chuck Todd thinks Holder was basically nonpolitical.
In other Obama-related news . . .
Liberal base sours on Obama
“President Obama’s poll numbers are plummeting in deep-blue states such as New York and California, with core liberal supporters who have stuck with him through thick and thin beginning to sour on his leadership.
“Obama’s decisions to punt on immigration reform, defend government surveillance and attack fighters in the Middle East have all alienated parts of the coalition that elected him twice to the White House.
“The growing dissatisfaction on the left could limit Obama’s ability to help Democrats in the midterm elections, and could threaten his political legacy if – as happened with George W. Bush – his party begins to abandon him.”
Obama calls for more action on Ebola. CNS News
TV ALERT: Obama to be interviewed by 60 Minutes for an appearance that will air Sunday.
Pressure ramps up on Jeb to decide . . . He’s thinking about it, seems serious. Dad wants him to jump in. But his wife doesn’t like the idea. If he decides against, the chances go up Romney gets in.
“The former Florida governor flirted with presidential runs in 2008 and 2012 but ultimately demurred, always with the flickering possibility of mounting a campaign down the road. But at 61 years old, the second son of former President George Herbert Walker Bush is now likely facing his last shot at the White House.
“And the pressure on him to cast aside serious family concerns and enter the 2016 fray is growing. Friends say Jeb Bush’s father is eager for his son to run, even telling a visitor at a recent family gathering in Kennebunkport, Maine, that a presidential campaign and a return of the family dynasty to power was a near certainty. Wall Street financiers and Main Street CEOs eager for a centrist champion are longing for a Bush candidacy.
“But people who have met in recent weeks with Jeb Bush in New York, Washington and Florida say they are far less certain that a campaign will ultimately materialize. Some described Bush as deeply engaged on issues beyond his usual focus on immigration and education, suggesting he was very much preparing for a national race. Others said it seemed like concerns over how a run would impact his family ultimately might keep Bush on the sidelines.”
Straight into the shadows . . . What happened to all those illegals who crossed the border earlier this year? Did they report for deportation? Are you kidding? They’re not idiots. They love it here.
“The Obama administration for nearly three months this summer carefully avoided answering questions about what happened to tens of thousands of immigrant families caught illegally crossing the Mexican border and released into the United States with instructions to report back to immigration authorities.
“Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and others said they faced deportation. But it turns out that tens of thousands of those immigrants did not follow the government’s instructions to meet with federal immigration agents within 15 days. Instead, they have vanished into the interior of the U.S.
“The Homeland Security Department privately acknowledged that about 70 percent of immigrant families failed to report as ordered. The disclosure came during a confidential meeting at its Washington headquarters with immigration advocates participating in a federal working group on detention and enforcement policies.
“The 70 percent figure suggests the government released roughly 41,000 members of immigrant families who subsequently failed to appear at federal immigration offices.”