WASHINGTON — It hasn’t been all glamour for Eric Holder Jr. as Attorney General. For one, there’s the less than friendly receptions on Capitol Hill from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who seem to enjoy grilling him like a burger at a 4th of July gathering.
Then there’s the second guessing by the public, the political pundits and others on the Hill.
But there are times when the job does have some glamour. Enter Vogue magazine. The magazine September issue has dedicated two-full pages of photos and then a two page write up on the guy it labels “Man of the Hour.”
Holder tells the magazine that the job is not easy. In fact, he shares, that his teenage son remarked that he doesn’t smile as much as he used to.
“You have a responsibility to keep the American people safe,” he tells the magazine. “It weighs on you. You literally go to bed and think, Have I done what I can?
He’s gotten grief over Gitmo, Miranda Warnings and the 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But he tells the magazine he’s unfazed by the negativity.
“It’s the reality of being the attorney general,” he says. “When I am dealing with some congressman who is trying to get me to engage so that he can end up on television, I have to think, What do I want people to think about this department 50 years from now?”
And then he offers an interesting perspective on the law.
“The law is not always right. “It kept my people slaves for years, segregate African-Americans, and kept women from voting, but it’s the place you go. You have to have an inner compass that tells you the right thing to do. That’s what I tell the people who work for me. Trust your instincts. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s where yo need to look.”
As for ambition, the magazine quotes former Justice colleague turned D.C. Judge Robert Richter: “Eric was never a particularly ambitious person. His goal was to make a difference, not end up on top.”
His wife, a physician, isn’t so certain, the magazine writes.
“It’s a question I wonder about. When I roll back the time and ask, ‘Did I think I was marrying a nakedly ambitious man?’ I answer no, but, then again, he was a judge at 38. In his case, I think, it’s there; it’s just not particularly offensive.”