"Holder, 57, was offered the job late last week and tentatively accepted it, sources said," Carrie Johnson reports in The Washington Post. "The Obama team intends to make the nomination official if he receives at least moderate support from Republican lawmakers and completes the vetting process, the sources said. Intermediaries began to reach out to Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, and the vetting pace accelerated yesterday."
"Michael J. Madigan, a Republican lawyer who has served in several high-profile positions on Capitol Hill but who supported Obama's bid for the presidency, said that 'the whole Marc Rich thing is a bad rap and it won't go anywhere' if GOP senators press it at confirmation hearings," Johnson writes.
The contours of the battle are taking shape even before the nomination is made formal: "The biggest issue in any confirmation hearing, Holder's supporters and critics said, would be that as deputy attorney general he had failed to oppose a presidential pardon for then-fugitive financier Marc Rich on the last day of the Clinton administration. Rich's former wife, Denise, was a contributor to former President Clinton's presidential library," Josh Meyer writes in the Los Angeles Times.
"Holder faced criticism for not speaking up before Clinton's pardon of financier Marc Rich, who fled the United States after his indictment for tax evasion and tax fraud," per ABC's Jake Tapper, Pierre Thomas, and Jason Ryan. "Additionally, Holder was serving as deputy attorney general during the Elian Gonzalez debacle. Federal agents raided the Miami home of the 6-year-old boy's family as part of an operation to take him into custody and return him to his father in Cuba."
The family is talking, still and already: "He's going to do great in this job because Eric is fair, he's smart, he's just an outstanding gentleman. We love him," sister-in-law Deborah Holder tells the New York Daily News. Says mom Miriam: "I'm a proud mother."
Holder himself -- not so much: "Asked on Monday whether he expected to be nominated, Holder responded in an e-mail: 'Who knows?' " Matt Apuzzo and Lara Jakes Jordan report in the Chicago Sun-Times.
This just in from Hillary madness -- doubts, and new opportunities, all out a little too widely for them not to be aired intentionally.
"Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has reservations about accepting an appointment as secretary of state in the Obama administration, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton who is familiar with her thinking said on Tuesday," The New York Times' Raymond Hernandez and Michael Luo report. "It was unclear if Mrs. Clinton's stated hesitation was part of a bargaining tactic as the Obama team weighs whether to appoint her secretary of state, a genuine moment of indecision or, perhaps, a signal that she was preparing to withdraw from consideration."
Said the unnamed adviser: "If you are secretary of state you work for the president. . . . If you are a senator, you work for yourself and the people that elected you."
And a sentence that says so much about the politics of all of this: "She thinks Obama has been great to ask, and she has been well-treated during the process."