Schumer To Holder: You and Obama Are “Both Very Handsome”

Ok, so that headline wasn’t really on point. But now that you’re reading…

In his questioning of Eric Holder this morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer really doubled down on the theme of politicization at DOJ under Alberto Gonzales — a theme that, as we noted, has served as the constant backdrop to the hearings so far.

Schumer declared that “the likes of Alberto Gonzales and Bradley Schlozman sullied and demoralized a great legal institution, probably the finest civil service institution in the country, that they really dragged through the mud.

As for GOP efforts to suggest Holder could act similarly, Schumer called the comparisons “ludicrous,” then initiated the following clever and enlightening exchange to demonstrate Holder’s comparative independence:

Schumer: As I look at your background and your record, it’s clear that you are less connected and less beholden to the new president than most attorneys general in the last fifty years. Let’s review for the moment. I have a few quick questions for you.

Have you ever been President-Elect Obama’s personal lawyer, like William French Smith had been for years for Ronald Reagan?

Holder: No, I have not.

Schumer: Have you ever been a staffer for Barack Obama, like Ed Meese had been for Reagan?

Holder: No, I have not, senator.

Schumer: Have you ever served as official counsel to Barack Obama, like Alberto Gonzales had for George Bush?

Holder: No, I have not, senator.

Schumer: And has Barack Obama ever dispatched you to the hospital room of a sick government official, to get him to authorize an illegal wiretap program?

Holder: No, he has not.

Schumer: Yeah I didn’t think so. Alright, and I take it you’re not a close relation to the new president, like Bobby Kennedy was to Jack Kennedy?

Holder: No, we’re not related by blood though people to say we look alike.

Schumer: I don’t think so. Although you’re both very handsome.

Holder: I’d heard he’s handsome and was going to try to draft on that.

Schumer: OK, let me ask you this, have you ever been a professional politician like John Ashcroft or Dick Thornburgh?

Holder: No, I’ve never run for office.

Here’s the video of the exchange:

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