Holder Courts Controversy to Cloud Contempt CaseJuly 11, 2012
It might seem like a good time for Attorney General Eric Holder to lay low, having just become the first cabinet member in history to be held in contempt of Congress.
But Holder is instead out on the campaign trail this week for President Obama, touting his accomplishments to key groups on the left and warning of institutional racism and new threats to black and Hispanic rights.
And today, Holder will be taking in Texas, ground zero for the attorney general's effort to block states from requiring voters to show identification.
Not exactly low profile.
The president, who is skipping the national conferences of the most important black and Hispanic groups in the Democratic coalition, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza (The Race), is counting on Holder to keep liberals and minority groups fired up and engaged while Obama seeks to soothe more moderate Democrats and the white, swing-state voters who have abandoned him.
The conventional wisdom in Washington is that Republicans have walked into a trap with their crusade against the attorney general.
Here's the thinking: By making the first black attorney general also the first cabinet member ever to be held in contempt of Congress, Republicans will look like a bunch of racist Torquemadas.
But two weeks later, it is Holder and Obama who seem to be suffering for the showdown, not the GOP.
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Posted by Ken at 4:50 AM