Last year, Attorney Genral Eric Holder fought off a White House plan to instal a minder alongside him to prevent public relations gaffes – someone with better “political antennae,” reports the New York Times. Holder declared that his job was about the law, not political messaging. Now he is no longer so certain, A year later, he is no longer so certain, after his plan to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in in federal court in Manhattan collapsed before it even began after criticism from the public and local officials.
Holder has switched from resisting encroachment by White House political officials to seeking their guidance. He met with them to discuss how to unite against common foes. They agreed to allow Holder, who has not appeared on a Sunday talk show since entering office, to speak out more; he agreed to let them help hone his message. Political attacks over terrorism cases were “starting to constrain my ability to function as attorney general,” Holder told the Times. “I have to do a better job in explaining the decisions that I have made. I have to be more forceful in advocating for why I believe these are trials that should be held on the civilian side.”