Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

Ashcroft Out  | e-mail post

Well, I imagine many liberals are pleased about John Ashcroft's resignation as Attorney General. He was clearly a polarizing AG, and his singing didn't help. It's funny to think how things may have been different if he had not lost his election to the Senate in Missouri back in 2000.

One of the frequently overlooked aspects of his tenure has been the fairly aggressive prosecution of corporate malfeasance, which combined with the also often-overlooked (during the election season, anyway) passage of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance controls has given the Bush administration a good record of challenging bad business practices and the abuse of power by corporate executives. I think that's something that has been lost on the majority of the electorate.

I'm certainly not sad to see Ashcroft leave. He's always just struck me as a little nutty, even if his actions as the AG were no different than many others might have been were they in the same position, given the events of 9/11. I think his personality made it far easier for many to be concerned about his actions and far less willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I'll be curious to see who Bush will put up for the spot. The good news is that I don't know if it would be possible to find a more polarizing figure.

My pick: Guliani. He was the #3 guy at Justice in 1981-1983 and was the US Attorney in NY before he was mayor of NYC. The most recent NYTimes/CBS poll I read gives him a favorable to unfavorable rating of 53-12, not bad. On the other hand, the position might be naturally polarizing and would he really want to risk that reputation as the AG.

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Wednesday, November 10, 2004
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