By Don Davis
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had not yet announced his resignation Thursday when U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s name came up as a possible replacement, although she quashed such speculation hours later.
“I intend to continue my work for the people of Minnesota as their senator,” Klobuchar said. “We have a lot of work ahead in Congress in the next year and I want to be there to do it.”
Klobuchar’s name was mentioned in many media accounts of Holder’s pending resignation, including by Bloomberg News and USA Today before she made it clear that she wants to remain a senator. She was first elected in 2006 and after her re-election two years ago has four years left in her term.
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Democrat who serves southern Minnesota, said that Klobuchar was the first name he heard from Washington circles.
“I think she would be fabulous attorney general,” he said, adding that he could see her getting unanimous Senate support in a confirmation vote.
However, he added, he would prefer Klobuchar remain “as my senior senator.”
For years, national observers have mentioned Klobuchar as a potential presidential candidate or a Supreme Court justice nominee. Her name occasionally also has been floated as an attorney general possibility.
Klobuchar had nothing but good things to say about Holder.
“Attorney General Holder has been a steady leader at the helm of the Justice Department during a time of significant challenge and change,” she said. “I have worked with him on a range of important issues, including reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and confirming a new U.S. attorney for Minnesota.”
Minnesota Republican Chairman Keith Downey got the information from a reporter and said that Holder’s move is good news.
“Eric Holder vacating the office of attorney general is a good thing for the country,” Downey said, adding that Holder is the most partisan person ever to hold that post.
He said “anybody but Holder” would be a better choice.
Holder, 63, was the nation’s first black attorney general and has made civil rights a cornerstone of his time in office. He did not say why he is leaving, but promised to stay on board until a successor is confirmed.