Holder, a close friend to former president Obama, has kept a relatively low profile since leaving his White House post. However, in an interview with Yahoo News, the progressive lawyer stated that he now feels compelled to reenter the political fray now that Donald Trump occupies the White House.
“Up to now, I have been more behind-the-scenes,” stated Holder. “But that’s about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. A certain familiarity as the first African-American attorney general.”
“There’s a justified perception that I’m close to President Obama. So I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country.”
And “opposing things” he has done.
His law firm served as leading counsel in drafting SB 54 – a California bill designed to block the Trump administration from forcing local police units to deport illegal immigrants. If passed, the bill would literally transform the whole of California into a sanctuary state. Holder has certainly invested his time in the bill – his firm was on a $25,000-a-month contract with the California legislature amid drafting the legislation. The California Senate is still paying him for his services.
The West Coast aside, Holder has been getting more politically involved across the country. He spoke last week at the Virginia Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner – a political fundraiser in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. Speeches at the dinner were plush with anti-Trump commentary.
Holder is also focusing on issues that are much more broad is scope. He serves as chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee – a group looking to prep Democrats for 2020, when the U.S. Census shows us how many people live where and states subsequently redraw their congressional maps. Many liberals believe they are victims of gerrymandered districts.
The former attorney general is in the early stages of forming a PAC-like organization with the intention of blocking President Trump’s agenda using legal means. He is hoping the fledgling organization will act as a coordinator of sorts for lawyers in opposing legislation and executive orders.
As for a presidential run, a lot is yet to be seen by Eric Holder. There is a rising crop of contenders in the 2020 Democratic presidential field and he is certainly low on the list. It can’t help that he began and ended his tenure as Obama’s attorney general in controversy.
Fresh into his new job as leader of the Department of Justice, Holder dropped a civil suit by the DOJ into possible voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party (members of the Party stood in front of voting centers brandishing bats and appeared intimidating). When explaining his reasoning in a House subcommittee hearing, Holder stated, “When you compare what people endured in the South in the ’60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia… I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people.”
Of course, much speculation ensued by what Holder meant with the “my people” comment.
One of Obama’s greatest blunders was the botched Fast and Furious operation. Amid the many congressional inquiries into the affair, House members had enough of the former attorney general continually stonewalling information from the investigation. Eric Holder subsequently became the first U.S. Attorney General in history to be held in both criminal and civil contempt of Congress.
No matter where you stand on the political spectrum – that’s a lot of baggage to look past. I don’t see Holder getting very far in any presidential campaign endeavors.