August 25th, 2014
08:53 AM ET
3 months ago

The “Inside Politics” Forecast: Will Eric Holder be leaving the Justice Department?

CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on “Inside Politics” to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – An exit strategy, proof of the Obama Midterm Drag, and insights into some of the most intriguing faces and races of 2014 and 2016 filled our weekly close-of-show trip around the Inside Politics table.

1. FROM FERGUSON TO THE EXIT?
Could Ferguson serve as the final chapter in Eric Holder’s career as attorney general?

Nia Malika Henderson of the Washington Post takes a look at the options Holder currently has on the table for leaving the federal government.

“Inside the Justice Department, people have speculated that [by] the end of the year he would be moving on,” said Henderson.

“But now the calculus is probably different,” she notes: If the Senate changes hands in November, it would make it difficult for another Obama nominee to be confirmed should Holder step down.

“[There's] also this question about Barack Obama's legacy, and the attorney general's legacy around civil rights as well. They very much feel like there's more work to do.”

2. TO MITCH MCCONNELL, CRUSH = “KICK THEIR A–“
Mitch McConnell still has a tough race of his own on to worry about in the final 10 weeks of the 2014 midterm campaign. But Jonathan Martin of The New York Times found the Kentucky GOP senator in good spirits during an interview this past week.

McConnell, as we have discussed for weeks, set a high and colorful bar early in the cycle when he told Jonathan’s colleague Carl Hulse his goal was to “crush” the Tea Party this year.

“Yes, we were determined this time to have the most electable nominees everywhere,” was the tame way McConnell described his strategy in the new conversation with Martin. Meaning determined not to let more controversial tea party candidates win GOP nominations only to lose in November.

In private, Martin discovered the senator has a more colorful way of describing his goal:

“Privately I'm told he was telling fellow senators he was going to kick their A–,” said Martin.

As Martin notes, the flipside of success is that McConnell won’t have candidates to blame if the GOP falls short of its goal of picking up a net gain of six seats – and with that the Senate majority.

3. A HAWKISH TONE AS BROWN MAKES A RACE OF IT
Perhaps the best news for GOP Senate hopes this past week was a New Hampshire poll showing a neck-and-neck contest between Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and GOP challenger Scott Brown.

Not too long ago, Brown – the former Massachusetts senator who has migrated north – was down 10 points or more. Robert Costa of The Washington Post recently spent some time in the Granite State, and shared insights on the tone Brown believes is making a difference in the race.

Hint: Think John McCain, who recently visited to campaign alongside Brown.

“He's playing up his military record in the Army National Guard,” said Costa.

“He believes that talking about hawkish view on foreign policy is the key to win in a state like New Hampshire that allowed John McCain back in 2000-2008 to do so well in the presidential primary.”

4. NEED PROOF OF THE OBAMA DRAG: SEE NH’S BLUE STATE BLUES
If you need evidence of why we call the president’s approval rating the North Star of midterm year politics, then study the new WMUR/University of New Hampshire poll that shows that close Shaheen-Brown Senate race.

Remember President Obama carried New Hampshire fairly easily in both 2008 and 2012.

But this new survey put his approval rating at just 37 percent among likely voters – 59 percent disapproved of how the president is doing his job.

Strategists in both parties say there is zero doubt that President Obama’s slide is the driving force in making the Senate race so competitive.

And Republicans say the “Obama Drag” is in evidence elsewhere, too: in two House races in the state with Democratic incumbents. Both are close, and while 10 weeks is a long time in a campaign, Republicans are getting more confident the closing chapter of this campaign year will be played out on terrain favorable to them.

Democrats, on the other hand, are less and less sure the President will be able to engineer even a modest uptick in his numbers.

5. ALL THE WORLD IS A CAMPAIGN STAGE
Not so fast if you think tracking down a 2016 presidential contender is as easy as racing off to Iowa or New Hampshire.

Have you tried Israel? Mexico? China even?

Julie Pace of The Associated Press helped us understand how more and more of the 2016 wannabes are looking to burnish their foreign policy chops.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky got decent media attention during his annual overseas trio – Guatemala this time – to perform surgeries and other eye care for disadvantaged children.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is soon off to Mexico, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is planning a trade mission to China and Japan.

All part of stamping their passports and expanding their horizons, Pace notes.

“One of the ideas,” explains Pace, “is to try to get your foreign policy credentials touched up now and avoid having one of those bumpy credential building trips during the presidential election year when the glare's on you a lot, à la Mitt Romney.”


Filed under: 2016 • Eric Holder • Inside Politics • Jeanne Shaheen • Mitch McConnell • Scott Brown
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    My two favorite guys in government! President Barack Obama and AG Eric Holder!!

    AG Holder is going nowhere soon! Thank you AG Holder, we finally have someone who knows exactly what we go through and is trying to do something about it. And for all of you that are referring to them as racists, you need to look in the mirror at the racist looking back at you.

    August 25, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    That would likely be a positive, since Holder has been doing many things a lot of folks would consider to be criminal.

    August 25, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    yolanda

    But hey, what a fine job he did by deciding not to press charges against those fine young New Black Panthers for intimidating voters in Philly in 2008. What great pillars of the community they are. No racial favoritism there, eh? Minister King Samir Shabazz and his billy club....nice.
    -----------------------------
    How come you are not complaining about the Justice Department not filing charges against the patriots at the Bundy ranch, too? Don't you think that they were pretty intimidating to the Land Management people when they pointed what were assumed to be loaded weapons at the agents?

    August 25, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. smith

    @Rudy-I don`t see the recent Repub.AGs being caught up in scandal after scandal like Reno and Holder.

    August 25, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Rudy-I don`t see the recent Repub.AGs being caught up in scandal after scandal like Reno and Holder.
    ------------------------------
    Of course, not. You simply choose to ignore the fact that Bush's went through 5 Attorney Generals for no good reason.

    August 25, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    smith
    @Rudy-I don`t see the recent Repub.AGs being caught up in scandal after scandal like Reno and Holder.
    ---–
    Ever hear of the "dismissal of US attorney's scandal" under Alberto Gonzalez? But wait, ther's more.

    August 25, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. yolanda

    @Rudy, I find the Bundy fiasco to be embarrassing for our country, as well as unacceptable. Bundy is a dead beat, and it would seem that he is a racist also. He and his cohorts, along with the New Black Panthers (also racist), are bottom feeders. Unfortunately, we have bad people on both extremes. I find Holder lacking, just as I think Gonzalez was extremely mediocre. As to not complaining about the Bundy case, there were ample voices heard already. Few people who post here barked about the New Black Panther fiasco.

    August 25, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. CALIFORNIA

    GOOD RIDDANCE to bad rubbish.

    August 25, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "The “Inside Politics” Forecast: Will Eric Holder be leaving the Justice Department?"

    Who knows? What we do know is that the 5 people pictured above left reality a long time ago though.

    August 25, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    yolanda

    @Rudy, I find the Bundy fiasco to be embarrassing for our country, as well as unacceptable. Bundy is a dead beat, and it would seem that he is a racist also. He and his cohorts, along with the New Black Panthers (also racist), are bottom feeders.
    ----------------------–
    What have the New Black Panthers done to earn your admonition as them being racists? Stand quietly outside a polling place in a predominantly black precinct? They held open the doors for seniors as they came and went. The TV reporter who had filmed the "incident" had recorded exactly that and no more on his cameras. His fear added the rest.

    August 25, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. yolanda

    @Rudy, as you (should) well know, the New Black Panthers are considered a hate group by most socially conscious organizations. I find it comical that you defend them, or is it a case of you being so intent on challenging and educating me that you ignore facts?

    August 25, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Hmmmm

    Rudy NYC

    Can you name one incident of a black police officer shooting an unarmed white civilian and killing them?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Dillon Taylor in UTAH?

    August 25, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Hmmmm

    Rudy NYC

    Can you name one incident of a black police officer shooting an unarmed white civilian and killing them?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Dillon Taylor in UTAH?
    =================================================================
    Is that the best that you can do? Something that happened less than a week ago, and facts are not known? It seems that the officer was wearing a body camera, which would suggest more than hearsay evidence will be emerging.

    Okay you named one. LOL

    August 25, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    yolanda

    @Rudy, as you (should) well know, the New Black Panthers are considered a hate group by most socially conscious organizations. I find it comical that you defend them, or is it a case of you being so intent on challenging and educating me that you ignore facts?
    -------------------
    So are most members of the Tea Party. What hostile actions did they take? You are the one who brought up the election day incident, not me. They did nothing more than open the doors for little old ladies that day.

    August 25, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. rs

    yolanda

    But hey, what a fine job he did by deciding not to press charges against those fine young New Black Panthers for intimidating voters in Philly in 2008. What great pillars of the community they are. No racial favoritism there, eh? Minister King Samir Shabazz and his billy club....nice.
    __________________________
    What a fine job he did by not prosecuting Bush and Cheney for their crimes- in the name of unifying our nation. Not that the Right reciprocated in any way....

    August 25, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. rs

    He and his cohorts, along with the New Black Panthers (also racist), are bottom feeders.
    _________________________
    You mean the ONE GUY that scared a few White voters but didn't hang around long enough for the police to find him? Seriously? The GOP is systematically stripping millions of Blacks of their voting rights, and you are upset about one supposed "Black Panther"? Outrageous!

    August 25, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "You mean the ONE GUY that scared a few White voters "

    Nobody interviewed about the incident said they felt scared or intimidated. Many reported explicitly not feeling scared or intimidated and that the guys had actually nicely held the door for them.

    August 25, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. yolanda

    @rs, the word "vacuous" comes to mind. Go play with your other little darlings. You and @Rudy make a cute couple.

    August 25, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. Klutch Cargo

    Aw, Well,
    I see the usual suspects are shucking and Jiving the facts. Slight adjustment in November. The Winds of Change, (Return to Common Sense) on Horizon. Forrest Gump still in (?Driver's Seat) Or out to lunch.

    August 25, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit

    "You mean the ONE GUY that scared a few White voters "

    Nobody interviewed about the incident said they felt scared or intimidated. Many reported explicitly not feeling scared or intimidated and that the guys had actually nicely held the door for them.
    ---------------------------–
    Right. As I recall, the two men had repeatedly refused to be interviewed, to which the TV reporter took offense.

    August 25, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "But hey, what a fine job he did by deciding not to press charges against those fine young New Black Panthers for intimidating voters in Philly in 2008"

    Because there was no evidence of them actually intimidating anyone or even intending to do so. One of them got put on probation or a suspended sentence because he was foolish enough to have a billy club with him, but before you go all Faux Noise rant and rave about a billy club, keep in mind that we all know very well that you and the rest of the RWNJs would say that there is no intimidation with some group of Open Carry white guys in TX planning a "parade" to wander down the street in the middle of the minority neighborhoods, so i's not exactly believable when you try to claim there's such horrible intimidation going on just because the dude had a nightstick. What you're really saying is "black man with a stick inherently scary, but white guy with loaded AR-15 over his shoulder walking down main street not inherently scary."

    August 25, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. yolanda

    @rs, don't you mean billions? Come on, if you're going to embellish, at least make it worthwhile. But you're correct, it is almost impossible to get a photo ID these days. The imposition is unspeakable. How can anyone be expected to go to all of the trouble to do that? Next thing you know, those pesky GOP?Teatrolls will insist that a photo ID be required to buy alcohol, or (gasp) get a driver's license, and we all know that once that invasiveness starts, it never ends. Yup, millions and millions of Blacks are systematically being stripped of their right to vote. Can you say "hyperbole"?

    August 25, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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