Is Attorney General Eric Holder readying his exit strategy?
Back in April, our colleague Sari Horwitz, citing Justice Department officials familiar with Holder’s plans, reported that he had decided to stay in his job through the fall midterm elections but that he would not commit beyond the end of the year.
At a February staff meeting, she wrote, he felt faint and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was treated for an elevated heart rate. Holder told close friends that it was “spooky” and that he felt as if it was a “sign” he should spend more time with his family — something a certain member of his family has been urging him to do.
Granted, there had been speculation last year that he might be gone soon. Now there’s renewed speculation that he could be calling it quits, perhaps by the end of this year. But, after the police shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., and Holder’s call for a federal civil rights investigation — plus Obama’s dispatching him to that locale a few days after the shooting — some folks thought he’d be obliged to hang in there for a while longer.
On the other hand, his travel schedule this month could give another clue to his intentions.
One of his major goals, we understand, is to visit every U.S. attorney’s office in the country — all 93 of them. He’s been doing that since he settled in at the Justice Department, and now there are only three left on the list — and he’s traveling to two of them this week, in Louisville and Lexington, Ky.
He’s saving for last the office nearest and dearest to him at the William J. Nealon Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Scranton, Pa. Holder and Judge Nealon, 87, have been close for many years, after Holder, then a young Justice Department prosecutor, handled a major corruption case in Scranton.
But he’s going to Scranton at the end of this month, so that’s one more initiative checked off.
A former Joe Biden aide who worked for him in the Senate when he wrote the Violence Against Women Act has taken a senior-level position with the National Football League as it struggles with its reputation among women.
Cynthia Hogan will be the league’s senior vice president of public policy and government affairs, the organization announced Tuesday.
“The complex and compelling issues of interest to the NFL and the opportunity to help shape policy on those issues is a unique and exciting challenge,” Hogan said in a news release. “I could not be more excited about joining the NFL team.”
Hogan, a counsel for Biden in the White House, helped shepherd Sonia Sotomayor through her confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. She also was on the team that shaped the administration’s anti-gun-violence message after the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Biden tweeted congratulations to Hogan, calling her “a great friend and a great lawyer.”
The NFL is facing terrible public relations over how it responds to domestic violence involving its players after video circulated showing Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens punching and knocking out his fiancee, who is now his wife. Hogan’s credentials on women’s issues and in Washington are an obvious choice to help the NFL rehabilitate its image.
Just how connected is she? We hear Hogan belonged to a book club that over time included such women as future Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan, former Obama deputy chief of staff for policy Nancy-Ann DeParle and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission chief Chai Feldblum.
With friends like that . . .
Attention, Biden alumni! A reunion for former staff members of Vice President Biden, initially scheduled for Tuesday in Washington and Delaware, has been postponed, according to an unsigned e-mail we got Monday night.
A Biden counselor had
e-mailed a save-the-date for the event back in July, but no actual invite with time or location was ever set. The postponement note, as we reported with colleague Sean Sullivan, pointed to the “large number of Delaware and DC folks who wanted to be able to attend both events to reconnect with friends and former colleagues.” So, to accommodate those desires, the friends of the veep are going to have the events on different dates.
While there was no word that Biden was to attend, we noticed that he’s scheduled to head to Iowa on Wednesday to speak at a Nuns on the Bus “We the People, We the Voters” tour kickoff.
In July, Loop fans may recall, Biden arranged a brief conference call with some of his former staffers (unclear how many) that raised a few eyebrows about his electoral aspirations. We dismissed it, however, as just Joe being friendly.
Then came the save-the-date in August, which raised more eyebrows, but we still dismissed the notion that Biden was seriously contemplating a third presidential bid, despite Hillary Clinton’s disastrous memoir rollout.
But now he’s headed to Iowa? This looks really suspicious. Well, given the last-minute reunion postponement, the effort so far seems a bit slipshod. On the other hand, campaigns — er, reunions — are never easy to organize.
The Senate on Tuesday afternoon confirmed Obama mega-bundler Jane Hartley to be ambassador to France, a post that’s been vacant since November. Hartley is chief executive of the Observatory Group, an economic and political advisory firm in Manhattan.
The Senate also filled two vacancies on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jeffery Baran, who works for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Stephen Burns, a longtime NRC lawyer, were confirmed by largely party-line votes.
Finally, the Senate confirmed ambassadors to Guatemala and Lesotho.
Twitter: @KamenInTheLoop, @ColbyItkowitz