Rick Scott Picking a Fight With Eric Holder is Smart Politics

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: August 5, 2014 3:55 AM
Rick Scott and Eric Holder

Rick Scott and Eric Holder

By going after Eric Holder last week, Rick Scott’s team picked a fight that could pay off politically in the days to come. 

Holder is one of only three members left from Barack Obama’s original Cabinet but he’s certainly proven to be much more controversial than Arne Duncan or Tom Vilsack. Republicans started impeachment efforts against Holder last year due to his role in “Operation Fast and Furious,” the Justice Department seizing journalists’ records and his refusal to cooperate with Congress. Even though an internal Justice Department investigation cleared Holder on Operation Fast and Furious, Republicans in the House still don’t think the attorney general has owned up to his role in it.

The attorney general’s standing with conservatives has also dropped due to a series of fights with state governments. Holder compared voter laws in Texas to the poll tax and went out of his way to criticize Arizona’s immigration law.

Holder hasn’t just angered conservatives. Some longtime Democrats have never forgiven him for going after Dan Rostenkowski. Civil libertarians have called out Holder’s support of using drones and his support of using military tribunals for accused terrorists.

To be sure, the attorney general has become an albatross around Obama’s neck. But Holder, an early Obama backer, has always had the support of the president. Holder has often done the president’s dirty work, often insisting opposition to the administration is based on racial issues. From his excusing of the New Black Panther Party’s attempts to intimidate voters at the polls to his calling America a “nation of cowards” on race, Holder has been much wore willing than his boss to wade into the waters on race.

But Holder’s days might be numbered. If Republicans pick up the Senate in November, as appears increasingly likely, Obama will be in a much weaker position during his last two years in office. Holder has already been held in contempt of the House and it’s easy to imagine a GOP Senate following suit. There’s simply no way Republicans will work with Holder if they control both chambers, which means Obama could be forced to sacrifice his longtime lieutenant.

This being the case, Scott’s team chose wisely in going after Holder last week, painting his concerns about voting in Florida coming from his role as Obama’s enforcer. With Holder’s record and his lack of support from the voters, it’s easy to write off his efforts as only “more politics from President Obama – as the White House desperately tries to prop up the sagging campaign of their candidate, Charlie Crist.” Scott’s team also noted Holder backed earlier voting changes before the governor “added more early voting locations, more early voting days and shortened the length of the ballot” in 2013.

Going after Holder is smart politics. Obama isn’t as popular as he once was, obviously, but he did carry the state twice. Holder, on the other hand, is despised by Republicans and not exactly popular with Democrats after the constant flow of controversies. By getting into a fight with Holder, Scott fires up his Republican base while not stirring up Democrats the way he would if he called out Obama -- a smart move in what is a close race.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (19)

Sandra Green
9:11PM AUG 16TH 2014
People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones! Rick Scott's less than stellar record and Florida's economy isn't something he should be proud of! Rick Scott I thought that you were running against Charlie Crist! Attorney Gen. Eric Holders character isn't questionable! You on the other hand,innocent people don't plead the fifth 77 times if he has nothing to hide!
Scott Marshall
8:57PM AUG 5TH 2014
Is there anything Republicans don't despise?
3:50PM AUG 5TH 2014
Distraction politics . . . . anything to shift the focus away from King Ranch ethics . . . . ever think you'll see an actual "fair and balanced" investigative report on that from SSN or the Florida AG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . think again . . .

Pathetic . . . .
1:24PM AUG 5TH 2014
Gov Scott & AG Bondi should've been more proactive in defending Florida from Federal intrusions & abuses.This is too little,too late,I won't vote for Gov Scott twice.#WyllieForGov
9:45PM AUG 5TH 2014
Better than voting for that limp wrist pos turncoat traitor c christ.
The Swampfox
12:17PM AUG 5TH 2014
Diane, Diane... Plain and simple all eligible voters can vote what is your problem? You go to the pole with ID present it and vote. You can't deny the fact that many attempts are made at fraudulent voting can you? It is our right as a US citizen to vote it is not the right of anyone else to cast a vote unless they are citizens. That's how it reads in the US Constitution. Are you saying you want to violate that rule?

The mere presence of a Black Panther Member present at a polling place should tell you there are ulterior motives in him being there. What! Are you going to tell me he's "just hanging out with the boys." You liberals have a way of twisting the truth on matters but that is about to stop. Furthermore with regards to the increase of racism in the US I would say that between Obama and Holder their actions have done just that! Spurred a more division between people of color and whites. However, if you know about those two which I am certain you do then you would know this is part of their plan divide and conquer. The blacks in this country should be outraged at Obama he could have been one of the greatest Presidents ever, bringing the country together but instead look at what he's done and how he's done it.

Obviously you drank the Kool Aid.
11:14AM AUG 6TH 2014
You drank the tea. in violation of the US Constitution, about 1 million Floridians will not be allowed to vote. Your words " It is our right as a US Citizen to vote". The is not constitutional exception that says ex-felons can not vote. Yet politicians here in Florida will SUPPRESS those million votes. Either the entire Constitution applies to all or none. Either every right, for everybody, is worthy of protection or none. If states are allowed to take away constitutional rights from 1 class of citizens, they can take them away from you and yours.
Gene Ralno
12:11PM AUG 5TH 2014
I'm opposed to almost all new laws and regulations. However, I'll make an exception with this suggestion. We oughta' have a law that prohibits foul ghouls from public service. That would wipe out the current administration totally and half the demokrat party.
1:26PM AUG 5TH 2014
Unfortunately,Gene,ghouls can run for office,it's up to informed citizens not to vote for them.
9:28AM AUG 5TH 2014
he seizes press corps private emails ... he authorized Fast and Furious that killed Americans and Mexicans ... consequently, he is held in contempt of Congress regarding Fast and Furious ... he did not prosecute Black Panthers intimidating white voters ... he thinks terrorists should be tried in civilian court ... he did not prosecute a company for money laundering ... he believes it's okay to kill Americans via drone strikes ... he perjures himself in court ... he does not provide documents that relate to funding terrorists ........ all in all, Holder is bad news for everyone
8:19AM AUG 5TH 2014
Yeah, right Jeff. Going after Holder is smart politics, UNLESS Florida sees an even bigger surge in minority, and white, voting who appreciate Holder's efforts to ensure all eligible voters have the right to vote.

In case you have not noticed, or not watched any news but FOX, racism is rampant in the US. This white person is proud to have an AG who tries to right racial wrongs. And perhaps this is the real reason Republicans despise Holder.
9:48PM AUG 5TH 2014
Diane, you don't even know what the phrase, "eligible voters" means. It sure doesn't mean voting up in yankee land and then coming down to Florida and voting again because you have a winter home. It does not mean being an illegal alien in America gives you the right to vote. And it sure does not mean voting for a dead person.
10:14AM AUG 5TH 2014
Diane - if you were sincere w/that post, you are a damnable fool! Just how is Holder helping race relations by allowing the NBPP to intimidate voters @ the polls w/batons & refusing to prosecute them even tho there are tapes of that activity as it occurred, hmmmmm???? The obamaliar & Holder are both low life racists as well as overt anti-semitics!!! I'm 78 yrs old & have never seen the race issue as bad as it is & those two are the root of it!!!!!
7:15AM AUG 5TH 2014
HA HA...You really just have to laugh at an "internal DOJ investigation" clearing the head man! Lets see what those court ordered release of those fast nad furious documents have to say,hmmm.
8:02AM AUG 5TH 2014
You do know that Holder was not in office when the Fast and Furious operation was put into play, right? And although he held off until the DOJ investigation was completed, he gave congress records that did not put agents in jeopardy.

If you are interested in the truth, Fortune Magazine (not exactly a liberal rag) did a detailed chronology of the Fast and Furious operation.
9:49PM AUG 5TH 2014
Please report to Bellevue hospital for your long over due lobotomy.
1:34PM AUG 5TH 2014
Uh, a little foggy on the facts? F&F occurred under the Obama administration and Holder has never cooperated with Congress, in fact in was caught lying.

WASHINGTON - New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.

On May 3, 2011, Holder told a Judiciary Committee hearing, "I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks."

Yet internal Justice Department documents show that at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing Fast and Furious.
8:33AM AUG 5TH 2014
I guess the truth shut ol FOX Jan up.
9:50PM AUG 5TH 2014
Please join jan at Bellevue.

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