Early take on potential Attorney General Nominees

These are three names being floated as potential nominees to be Attorney General, in alphabetical order:

Michael Chertoff, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security

Robert S. Meuller III, Director, FBI

Frances Fragos Townsend, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

Readers can see their bios at the above links.

My take:

Chertoff:  What federal appeals court judge gives up a lifetime appointment? It (usually) takes political connections to get appointed in the first place, and what would make one give it up? More politics. Experience as a prosecutor.  Has to answer for immigration issues, for those who want to politicize that, and the complete bungling of his agency's response to Hurricane Katrina. Probably too closely allied to the President to survive strict scrutiny in the Senate. Couldn't rescue citizens of New Orleans, and still hasn't, so how can he rescue DoJ?  -2

Mueller: Marine in Vietnam, law school afterward. Former prosecutor and higher up in DoJ. Has the independence and leadership skills to rescue DoJ.  +3

Townsend: Looks far better on paper than Harriett Miers or Gonzales coming in, and she also has prosecutorial experience.  She works in the White House, and that taints her with the Senate. The Senate will likely see her the in the same light as Gonzales: Too close to the President to be independent. -1

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    Mueller (none / 0) (#1)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11:48:06 AM EST
    will probably also get some good PR value with the Senate from his participation with Comey in the Gonzales/Ashcroft hospital room fiasco.  Shallow reason to support him?  Yes.  But it happens.

    Mueller (none / 0) (#2)
    by BDB on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 12:35:00 PM EST
    Would not be a bad choice if not for the Patriot Act letter fiasco at the FBI.  He used to have a lot of respect in the department among career staff.  I don't know if he still does.

    One "bonus" of appointing Mueller to DOJ is that Bush would get to appoint a new FBI chief with a ten-year term.  I'd like to think the Dems would insist on someone with a modicum of decency (which I think does describe Mueller, despite a lot of issues I have with the FBI), but who knows?

    While we're on the subject of the FBI, we need to get rid of the ten-year term appointments.  It doesn't protect them from political influence, it protects them from accountability.

    Hmm. (none / 0) (#3)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 12:39:41 PM EST
    I agree that Mueller is the best of the three that you've considered and Chertoff is the worst. So why do I have a feeling that we'll be talking about AG Chertoff in the near future?

    Great... (none / 0) (#4)
    by desertswine on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02:16:29 PM EST
    Attorney General Skeletor.