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Picking Obama's attorney general
<span style="font-family: Verdana,Helvetica,Arial;"><span>Will Clinton&rsquo;s Marc Rich pardon sink the new attorney general?</span></span>
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t appears that Barack Obama's pick for attorney general is Eric Holder, said Jennifer Rubin in Pajamas Media online. Holder, as the No. 2 in the Clinton Justice Department, "seemed to give his blessing" to the pardoning of Marc Rich, "a sorry chapter in the Clinton presidency." If he gets the job, it won't please "good government types" or "the people who thought they were getting change."

The Rich business is "the strike against Holder," said Emily Bazelon in Slate, but the right's attempt to "tar him with the Rich screw up" didn't stick when Obama put him on the vice-presidential selection team. And Holder has a "solid-to-gold reputation," and he certainly "knows his stuff" and should be able to run Justice well.

Forget about Marc Rich, said Steve Benen in The Washington Monthly online. Holder, who would be the first African-American attorney general, is "universally respected and as a former deputy AG, knows a bit about how the Justice Department is supposed to work. And after eight years of Bushies trashing the joint, that's an important skill to bring to the table."

In "ordinary times," said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial, Holder's abilities would make him the perfect pick. But after the politicization of the Justice Department under President Bush's longtime legal adviser, Alberto Gonzales, Obama needs to "go the extra mile" and show that Justice isn't "a branch office of the White House." Picking someone as loyal to him as Holder would send the wrong message.

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