A source with connections to the U.S. Justice Department told me a couple of months ago that his contacts were saying Alabama Congressman Artur Davis has substantial support as attorney general in a potential Barack Obama administration.
I didn't think too much of it at the time because Davis has steadfastly said he does not plan to have a formal role in an Obama administration and is more interested in a possible run for governor of Alabama in 2010.
An Obama administration is about to become a reality, and it looks like my source was onto something.
The Associated Press is reporting that Davis is among four names being mentioned prominently for the AG post. Others on the list are Eric Holder, former deputy attorney general; Janet Napolitano, governor of Arizona; and Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts and a former assistant U.S. attorney for civil rights.
My source says Davis' support is driven largely by his intelligent and persistent questioning in various hearings conducted by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
Here is one Alabamian who hopes Davis will strongly consider the position if it is offered. From a political perspective, I don't know if Davis has the statewide name recognition to win a governor's race. And given that Obama lost Alabama by some 20 percentage points to the dismal John McCain campaign, it appears our state still is wrestling with its race-based demons. Also, in current Lt. Governor Jim Folsom Jr., Democrats are likely to have one attractive candidate for the 2010 race already.
From a governance standpoint, attorney general is one of the most critical appointments Obama will make. The new AG will have to clean up after a Bush administration that has turned the Justice Department into a corrupt cesspool. Davis has shown signs that he has the intellect and the spine that will be needed for the task.