Attorney General Eric Holder said he is unsure what his future holds as the November election nears, remarking that serving as the top law enforcement official in the country has been the highlight of his career.
“I’ve enjoyed my time as Attorney General. It’s been a tough job — one that takes a lot out of you,” Holder said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today. “Some raised concerns whether I was tough enough for this job.”
Despite criticism from conservatives and from people within his own team inside the Obama administration, Holder said he hopes people see that he has stuck to his principles as Attorney General. ”I’ve been criticized a lot for the positions I’ve taken,” he said, “but I’ve won more than I’ve lost.”
He said if President Barack Obama is re-elected in November he is unsure if he will remain on as Attorney General. Most observers expect Holder to step down, and some people familiar with the matter have told Main Justice his wife, Sharon Malone, is particularly eager for Holder to return to private life.
Holder has weathered intense criticism from conservatives over his national security and civil rights policies. On national security, particularly politically explosive attempts to close the Guantanamo Bay military detention facility and to try suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohamed in federal court, Holder has meekly suffered reversals. But on civil rights, he has generally confronted his critics and refused to back down, particularly on challenges to voter ID laws and other initiatives that Democrats see as GOP attempts to limit the universe of voters.