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SEEN UP NORTH: Superb job from Holder


Tony Best

SEEN UP NORTH: Superb job from Holder

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Pride, disappointment and “bitter sweet” feelings.

Those emotions summed up the range of reactions to the recent resignation of Eric Holder, America’s first black Attorney General, whose decision to leave the Department of Justice triggered an outpouring of praise. Of course, some were vigorous in their criticisms.

The pride in Holder’s top shelf performance for the past six years was displayed by the person who appointed him to the job, President Barack Obama and who in a succinct report card told everyone, “Eric has done a superb job.”

At the same time, the disappointment was articulated by Holder himself who regretted the absence of his Bajan immigrant parents from the White House ceremony called to announce his planned departure from the Obama Administration.

“Whatever my accomplishment,” he said, “they could not have been achieved without the love, support and guidance of the people who are not here today. My parents, Eric and Miriam Holder, nurtured me and my accomplished brother, William, who made us believe in the value of individual effort and the greatness of this nation.”

The reference to “bitter sweet” feelings was made by Obama who regretted Holder’s decision but acknowledged that the AG’s family, especially his children were “excited” to “get their dad back for a while”.

But how did other prominent public figures rate Holder?

Representative Marcia Fudge, a member of the US House of Representatives and the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill said: “Attorney General Holder never hesitated to remind us that the pursuit of justice is a fundamental right, integral to the survival of our democracy.”

Yvette Clarke, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants and who represents a large Brooklyn constituency in the House, hailed Holder as “a voice for social justice in his distinguished career with the Justice Department”.

But they were some, especially on the right of the political spectrum who were glad to see him go.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Minority leader in the upper chamber, said that Holder’s performance as AG showed how right he was to vote against Holder’s nomination when it came before the Senate in 2009.

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