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Will US have first black Attorney General?

world Updated: Nov 19, 2008 20:24 IST

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Eric Holder, a veteran African- American lawyer who served in the No. 2 position in Justice Department during the Clinton era, is tipped to be the next Attorney General, a post never held by a black man in the US.

The 57-year-old Holder, after some initial hesitation, has told the transition team of President-elect Barack Obama that he wants the job, CBS News reported.

If appointed to the post, Holder, who was the Deputy Attorney General under President Bill Clinton, would be the nation's first black Attorney General.

However, Holder still has to undergo a formal "vetting" review by the Obama transition team before the selection is final and is publicly announced, an unnamed legal source close to President-elect's team was quoted as saying by 'Newsweek'.

In the discussions over the past few days, Obama offered Holder the job which he accepted, the source was quoted as saying.

An announcement in this regard is not likely until after Obama announces his choices to lead the Treasury and State departments. Hillary Clinton, the former party rival of Obama, is reportedly among the top contenders for the Secretary of State post.

An Obama official and two Democrats in touch with the transition team confirmed that Holder is Obama's top choice for Attorney General, CBS News said.

Asked if Holder would be a good choice for Attorney General, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it was too soon to say anything in this regard.

"I know something of Holder's work in the Clinton administration and that's about it," he was quoted as saying by CBS News. "I'd have to take a much closer look at his record and talk to him and think about it."