David Vitter believes that Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s attorney-general nominee, might be even more dangerous than Eric Holder, the man she will replace if confirmed. The Louisiana senator met privately with Lynch this week in his capacity as a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He tells NRO that Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, is quieter and more restrained than Holder, which he worries will deflect attention from some of the Justice Department’s more outrageous actions and policies.
Vitter’s warning about Lynch should not be taken lightly. While he previously said that Holder has directly attacked his state more than any other attorney general has, Vitter thinks Lynch may pose an even greater threat. In their extensive one-on-one meeting, Vitter says, Lynch would not answer several of his questions about her position on the president’s executive action on immigration. His Republican colleagues have refrained from raising questions about her nomination, which has puzzled him, given the intense debate the execute action is inspiring in the Capitol.
Republicans’ chances of blocking Lynch’s confirmation will depend upon her performance before the Judiciary Committee. “You’ve got to get her to say something absolutely outrageous during the hearings, because most people don’t follow this stuff that closely,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell tells NRO. “You cannot just go in there and go, ‘I can’t stand you, the Obama administration stinks.’” O’Connell says that if Republicans appear to be picking on an African-American woman and using her confirmation hearing to voice their grievances with the Obama administration, then public opinion could quickly turn against them. He adds that he thinks Republicans will ultimately cut a deal with the White House and confirm her. Republicans should use Lynch’s confirmation hearing, he suggests, to fight the executive action, since they probably won’t be able to extract much from the White House in return for approving her nomination.