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Return to Justice?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Eric H. Holder Jr., the former deputy attorney general under Janet Reno during the Clinton administration, has long been considered a leading candidate for attorney general in what will now be Barack Obama's administration.

Now Inside the Beltway gets word from a source close to the Justice Department that Mr. Holder "is on the top of the list for attorney general."

A Washington lawyer, Mr. Holder served as a senior legal adviser to Mr. Obama's presidential campaign, and helped the Democratic candidate select his vice-presidential running mate, Joseph R. Biden Jr.


When it comes to fixing the economy, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer warns it's going to be a long, cold winter.

"It's not going to happen overnight, number one," the Maryland Democrat informs listeners of Inside the Beltway Radio (listen 24 hours at "Number two, we've been working in a bipartisan way to make sure the economy did not fall into a depression."

"You talked about borrowing money from the Chinese," adds Mr. Hoyer. "We've borrowed more money from foreigners over the last eight years than we've borrowed in the entire previous history of our country. We've been on a binge of debt in government, in business and in consumer markets. So we need to get a fiscal handle on all three sectors. But we cannot do that until we get the economy stabilized."


"I've been expecting President-elect Obama to announce the creation of a new, more powerful Cabinet position, replacing secretary of the Treasury: secretary of Redistribution."

Or so we overheard Robert L. Haught remark Tuesday, referring to Barack Obama's campaign pledge to "spread the wealth."

Mr. Haught, the recently-retired "Potomac Junction" columnist for the Oklahoman, is one of several notable authors participating in the 31st annual National Press Club Book Fair and Authors' Night, to be held Tuesday, Nov. 18.

He'll appear alongside Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Russell Baker, Helen Thomas, Roger Mudd, Ben "Cooter" Jones and 80 or so additional authors, signing copies of his book, "The POTUS Chronicles: Bubba Between the Bushes."

The book fair, featuring fiction and nonfiction, children's books, cookbooks and more, is open to the general public from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 (free to club members) and the funds raised benefit the club's National Journalism Library. The National Press Club is located at the corner of 14th and F streets (two blocks from Metro Center).


Now that President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have figured out what color curtains to hang in the White House, it's time for Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his wife, Jill, to decide how to decorate the Vice President's Mansion on Massachusetts Avenue Northwest.

They can start by bringing in some furniture.

"One of the interesting things about the vice president's house is that it doesn't have much furniture," Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, points out in a video tour of the mansion. "It's relatively new in the whole history of official houses."

"This piece of furniture here is borrowed from a friend of mine," Mrs. Cheney notes while standing in the dining room. "And there's another piece of furniture in another corner that belongs to me. We kind of borrow things."

Next stop, the mansion's sweeping entry hall, oval in shape and beautifully carpeted, yet virtually empty of furniture.

"So you can do lots of things in here - you can do somersaults and cartwheels," Mrs. Cheney suggests.

(Now we know how Mr. Cheney has kept in such good shape).

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