Both of the leaked picks today – Peter Orszag as OMB director and Eric Holder as attorney general – are just superb. Orszag’s record, both as Hamilton project director and at the CBO, is extremely impressive, and his obsessive focus on health care costs will serve the administration well.
Holder I’m particularly excited about. I’ve been touting him for months, both because the competition (Janet Napolitano and Artur Davis) would be better off running for the Senate in 2010, and because his record as deputy AG in the ’90s and in particular his rhetoric on the war on terror signal his has the skills and vision to get de-politicize what’s still largely Alberto Gonzales’ DOJ. I also like that Holder is responsive to citizen activism. Back when I was trying to prevent Sam Nunn from being picked as VP, the three people I was badgering (and having others badger) were Holder, David Plouffe, and Steve Hildebrand. I didn’t expect to have much of an effect, and I certainly didn’t expect such phenomenally busy people to write back. But Holder did. That alone suggests a degree of responsiveness that’ll be refreshing to have in an attorney general.