A new attorney general nominee to replace the departing Eric Holder has become the latest casualty of election-year politics.
A White House official on Tuesday confirmed reports that President Obama will wait until after the midterm congressional elections on November 4 to name his pick to lead the Justice Department. Earlier reports indicated that the president wanted to move swiftly to replace Holder so that Senate Democrats could potentially confirm the nominee during the lame-duck session next month.
In delaying the decision, Obama was said to be honoring the wishes of Senate Democratic leaders who did not want a polarizing pick to become mired in their aggressive–and increasingly desperate–push to hold onto to the chamber in the next few weeks. The selection is still expected soon after the November election. That scenario could still give Senate Democrats a limited window to confirm the nominee during the lame-duck session later in the month.
At the White House briefing on Tuesday, press secretary Josh Earnest would not directly comment on the timing of Obama's announcement, but he noted that "it would take a little bit of time" for the president and his advisers to decide on the right person to lead the Justice Department for his final two years in office.