Former Attorney General Eric Holder is free of his government muzzle and is speaking his mind on the current administration. The "looser, funnier" Holder spoke to Isaac Dovere on his Politico Off Message podcast this week about the current attorney general, the president, the state of the Democratic Party, and his own political ambitions.
First, Holder's thoughts on President Trump, whom he likes to call the "orange man."
Neo-Nazis feel "empowered" in the Trump era, Holder said, and he's not about to keep it to himself.
“I get angry, I get disheartened, but it also gives me a sense of determination, that I’m not going to crawl up in the fetal position and simply cry.”
He was equally critical of Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions. While he did not go so far as to say Sessions is a racist, he did regret that he has enforced policies that are "racially insensitive."
For instance, Sessions reversed the Holder Memo, which directed federal prosecutors to avoid mandatory minimum sentences in some low-level drug cases. Overturning the memorandum proves that Sessions "doesn't understand the impact" of policy positions he's implementing, Holder said.
Free of Washington, Holder may feel liberated to publicly judge the Trump administration, but the fact remains that the Republicans are in control of the White House, Congress and a majority of governorships and state legislatures. Dovere was curious as to how Holder thinks the party can begin to crawl itself out of its "hole."
In order to turn the tide, Democrats first need to make sure the census is properly working.
"Success starts with a good census effort," he noted.
They need to make sure that people are counted - particularly poor people and minorities. He's "worried," he said, that the census isn't adequately funded and staffed.
Once the census is fully equipped, Holder believes Democrats can make good headway on the 322 state legislative seats up by next year. "Dissatisfaction with Trump" is going to move voters away from the Republican Party, he believes.
By 2021, the Democrats will have a significant amount of representation in state legislatures to "assure a fair redistricting process," he predicted.
As for his own career path, Holder is currently focused on his work as chairman of the Obama-backed National Democratic Redistricting Committee and zoning issues in Washington, D.C.
How about a run for president? Dovere wondered. Holder said he'd rather start with the "neighborhood advisory board."