With Attorney General Eric Holder planning his exit from the national stage, Americans are starting to look back on his tenure, assess what his legacy will be, and determine his place in history. The longer White House officials (and presidents, for that matter) are out of the limelight, the more the public’s estimation of them improves. When they leave office, White House officials are often at the nadir of their popularity. That is good news for Eric Holder. As of today, he is only the third most reviled former or current Obama administration official.
According to a recent YouGov poll, only 26 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the attorney general. 37 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Holder after his six years at the head of the Justice Department.
But that’s a pessimist’s view of Holder’s dismal popularity rating. One could just as easily look at those figures and note that Holder is not as unpopular as two other former Cabinet officials. As of April, only 19 percent had a favorable opinion of former Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sibelius while 41 percent had a negative opinion of her. When Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki stepped down, only 18 percent of the public viewed him favorably while 40 percent had the opposite opinion.