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Opposition Picking Up Steam in Confirmation of Eric Holder as A.G.

Sen. Mitch McConnell/official photo

Sen. Mitch McConnell/official photo

Very early on, it seemed as if the confirmation of Eric Holder, an affable Washington figure, would be a breeze. Doesn’t seem that way any more.

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Eric H. Holder Jr. is facing increasing resistance to his bid to become the next attorney general, emerging from President-elect Barack Obama’s Cabinet nominees as the prime target of Senate Republicans, both because of troubling episodes during his service in the Clinton administration and because of the sensitivity of the post overseeing the Justice Department.
With two days of confirmation hearings set to begin Thursday, Holder must demonstrate his independence from Obama to a vocal chorus of GOP lawmakers who want to warn the incoming president that he should not veer too far to the left on national security and judicial nominations. The attorney general plays a pivotal role in those issues, which are of intense concern to conservatives.
What was considered a smooth path to confirmation has recently been complicated as signs of hostility toward Holder have increased over the past month. Political operative Karl Rove and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for example, singled out the longtime Washington lawyer as the candidate who would face bruising questions.
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