NPR has confirmed NBC's report that Eric Holder has accepted an offer to serve as Attorney General in the Obama administration, pending a formal vetting process and approval by "key Senators".
Holder served as Deputy Attorney General and briefly as Acting AG during the Clinton administration. Before that he was DC's US Attorney and a superior court judge. He also co-chaired Obama's running-mate search committee with Caroline Kennedy. If those "key Senators" sign off and Holder's nomination is confirmed by the Senate, he will be the nation's first African-American Attorney General.
One blemish on Holder's record that could complicate the confirmation process dates back to the final days of the Clinton Administration. Holder was serving as Acting AG after Janet Reno had departed the job, and he approved a presidential pardon for fugitive financier Marc Rich without taking a careful look at Rich's case. The pardon stirred up such a maelstrom -- Congressional hearings, media frenzy, a criminal investigation -- that the Washington Post quoted Holder at the time saying "I'm done. Public life's over for me."
The AP says transition officials have been testing Holder's name on the Hill and have been told that the Rich pardon won't torpedo Holder's chances.
The story was first reported by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff.