President Barack Obama nominated U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to be the nation’s next attorney general Saturday, choosing a career federal prosecutor who would be the first black woman to hold the office if confirmed.
With Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. alongside him, Obama introduced Lynch, the federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, in a hurried event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House hours before he departs on a trip to Asia.
“Loretta might be the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters and … terrorists and still has the reputation for being a charming person,” Obama said as Lynch stood by his side. “That’s probably because Loretta doesn’t look to make headlines, she looks to make a difference. She’s not about splash, she is about substance.”
Republican senators have been wary of whom Obama would choose to replace Holder, who announced this fall that he would step down but remain on the job until his successor is confirmed. Among the longest-serving members of Obama’s Cabinet, Holder had been the object of much of the Republican criticism over the administration’s handling of domestic and foreign policy.
But senators may have difficulty opposing Lynch, who has been twice confirmed by the Senate in her current job, first after President Bill Clinton named her to lead the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York, and again when Obama nominated her to return to the U.S. attorney position in Brooklyn.