Saturday, June 22, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Three events embroil the Obama administration: The Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups; Benghazi, Libya; and the Department of Justice’s secret surveillance of news reporters.
The DOJ is most troubling for the president while least important to most Americans. Why? President Barack Obama’s political assets have been his left base and the press corps, the two groups most outraged by the attorney general’s assault on the press.
Attorney General Eric Holder invited the news media to a meeting about the DOJ press surveillance. Several news organizations declined, both liberal and conservative. The organizations wanted the meeting to be on the record. Holder conceded partially to these demands but not enough for all the news media to acquiesce.
Obviously, Holder wanted to use the meeting to woo back the press. He wants to keep his job while there are calls across the political spectrum for his resignation. President Obama, who re-asserted his belief in the unfettered freedom of the American press by publicly supporting a “shield law,” hears the cries.
Inevitably, the president will have to take Holder up on his request last year to resign. The DOJ story is the most significant personal and professional setback for the Obama administration to date.
Whether and when Holder goes, one thing is sure: He can rule out an appointment to the Supreme Court, probably his most coveted career goal.