MANCHESTER, N.H. – Eric Holder’s visit Friday to the state that holds the first primary along the road to the White House is sparking further speculation that the former attorney general is seriously mulling a Democratic presidential bid in 2020.
But in an interview on the eve of his trip to New Hampshire, Holder appeared to downplay the significance of his visit, saying, “At this point, I’m just thinking about it.”
Holder, who ran the Justice Department from 2009 until 2015 under President Barack Obama, is slated speak and take questions at “Politics and Eggs” at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. The speaking series is a must-stop for presidential candidates or potential White House contenders.
“I’ll try to decide early next year whether there’s another chapter in my public service career,” Holder shared. “At this point, I’m really focused on the work of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and trying to deal with this whole question of partisan gerrymandering.”
“At this point, I’m really focused on the work of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and trying to deal with this whole question of partisan gerrymandering.”
Asked about the factors that will go into his decision on a presidential bid, Holder said, “Certainly chief among them is, can you win? Do you have ideas that you think will advance the interest of the people of this country?”
Longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley recently predicted that his party’s next presidential nominee will be someone under 55 years of age.
But the 67-year-old Holder argued the emphasis should be on experience and vision rather than age, saying, “I think that people need to be judged on the ideas that they have as opposed to the birthdate that’s on their birth certificate.”
He added, “I think there’s something to be said about youth, but there’s something to be said also about having adequate amounts of experience. I think the ability to combine vision with experience, I think ultimately will produce the best candidate, whoever that is, for the party.”
Turning to Donald Trump, the nation’s first black attorney general said he wouldn’t label the president a racist.
But he added, “The president and other members of his administration have tried to use race as a wedge issue to divide the American people, and it is something that I think is reprehensible. It is inconsistent with who we say we are as a people and it is not what we expect from somebody who is supposed to be the leader of the entire nation.”
“The president and other members of his administration have tried to use race as a wedge issue to divide the American people, and it is something that I think is reprehensible.”
Speaking two days after Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about former Obama White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett led to the cancellation of her hit ABC show “Roseanne,” Holder took aim at Trump.
“This president has given license to people to say and do things that might not have occurred in the immediate past in our country. And, I think that we are going to be dealing with that long after the Trump presidency, trying to get a handle on those kinds of issues, the kind of things that Roseanne said,” Holder argued.
After his “Politics and Eggs” appearance, Holder is expected to lead a roundtable discussion at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s headquarters in Concord on gerrymandering.
Holder, who chairs the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, said the organization is “committed to having a far census in 2020 and fair redistricting in 2021.”
Targeting the GOP, he added, “Without some kind of independent or bipartisan process to create districts, Republicans have an ability to draw a map that favors their own candidates right down to the neighborhood level.”