Eric Holder for President? According to sources familiar with the former U.S. Attorney General, Holder is considering a White House bid.
While Holder hasn’t expressly announced his candidacy, he did state in an interview with Yahoo News that his history of being behind-the-scenes is “about to change.” “I have a certain status as the former Attorney General. A certain familiarity as the first African-American Attorney General. There’s a justified perception that I’m close to President Obama. So I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country.”
On Monday, Holder appeared with local California elected officials and law enforcement to promote a state bill that he helped to craft. The legislation would prohibit state and local police departments from engaging in immigration enforcement and it would limit how much certain public entities, like public schools and libraries, can assist the Trump administration in their crackdown of undocumented immigrants.
Holder, who is now a law firm partner in D.C., joined in an unofficial capacity to “to dramatize the issue, to raise the consciousness of people, to help the legislation along.”
But his life as a private citizen may not last long.
The Trump presidency arrived with an immediate onslaught of executive orders and policy positions that undermined the civil rights of Muslims and people of color and was bolstered by the appointment of far-right Republican Jeff Sessions, who replaced Holder and Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.
Holder, who initially wanted to see how the Trump presidency would play out before returning to the political sphere, saw how swiftly Trump’s agenda materialized. “[I]t became clear relatively soon–and certainly sooner than I expected–that I had to get back on the field and be in effective opposition,” he told a slew a reporters at the Monday press conference.
Whatever he decides his new role would be, Holder’s legal expertise and public platform defending civil rights are sorely needed now, as the President has become intent on undoing practically all of the progressive gains of Obama’s administration, like its criminal justice reform, environmental protections, and less stringent foreign policy in Cuba.
Between the increased outspokenness and higher profiles of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Eric Holder, the 2020 political pool might be the only worthwhile development to come out of this bizarro world Trump era.