Holder Breezes Through

Obama’s Cabinet is one step closer to being complete, after the Senate voted 75-21 this evening to confirm Eric Holder as attorney general. The confirmation of America’s first black attorney general—Holder, 58, did hold the post for a short time on an acting basis in early 2001—wasn’t always expected to be so smooth, with many senators raising questions about his involvement as deputy attorney general in Bill Clinton’s last-minute pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich. But after a Senate committee voted 17-2 to approve his nomination, his nomination was assured. Now Holder has to turn his attention to rehabilitating a battered Justice Department. “There’s a big job to do, and it’s going to be Mr. Holder’s duty to turn this department around and restore its credibility,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California.