He’ll delay naming a new AG until November for the same reason he’s delayed issuing an executive order granting amnesty to America’s illegals and for the same reason next year’s insurance premiums won’t be available to ObamaCare exchange consumers until mid-November. There’s a chance that his nominal boss, America’s voting public, will fire a few of his Democratic colleagues from the Senate if those issues are laid squarely before them as they go into the booth. Obvious solution: Wait until the votes are in and the boss is back on electoral vacation before you wreck the company.
What self-respecting Most Transparent Administration Ever would do differently?
A White House official confirmed Monday that the president would delay the decision. Senate Democrats, who are struggling to hold control of the chamber, had expressed concern that the decision, depending on the nominee, could become a campaign issue.
It was not immediately clear whether the White House still intends to push for a new attorney general to be confirmed in the lame duck session of the Senate beginning in mid-November. Normally the Senate Judiciary Committee would have at least one to two months to consider such a nomination.
Bush also used the lame-duck session to have a cabinet vacancy filled but his nominee was Bob Gates, an official sufficiently respected by both sides that not only was he confirmed as SecDef by a 95-2 vote (with both nays being cast by Republicans), he stayed on at the Pentagon when the Democrat Obama succeeded the Republican Bush. Bush also had no opportunity to announce that Gates was replacing Rumsfeld before the midterm vote that year: Rumsfeld’s resignation was tendered the day after the election, a decision criticized by some Republicans as an opportunity lost. Why not boot the unpopular Rumsfeld before the vote in hopes that some voters who were angry about the state of Iraq might be cheered by a change in direction? By comparison, Obama gets the best of both worlds, shedding some of Holder’s baggage before the vote without accumulating any new baggage from his yet-unannounced nominee. And now Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu and the rest of the red-state Democrat rubber-stamp brigade don’t have to answer any tough questions this month about whether they’ll vote to confirm O’s new DOJ nominee.
Exit question: Is there any reason why Obama might be reluctant to fight a contentious confirmation battle for AG and issue his executive order on amnesty during the lame-duck session? That seems like a lot of rancor for one president to foist on a departing Senate but I can’t come up with a good reason for why O shouldn’t do it. The lame-duck will be his last chance to have a Democratic Senate wave through one of his nominees. And he’s under so much pressure from amnesty shills to legalize illegals, he might not be willing to wait until January to do it. What political price would he or any other Democrat pay if he tried to do both of those things in November or December? None, right? Except Mary Landrieu, of course, who might be facing a runoff with Bill Cassidy in December. But if Cassidy takes 51 percent of the vote on election day in November, averting the need for a runoff, what’s stopping O then?