Obama's 6 Recess Picks Include AIG Consultant

President bypasses Senate on stalled appointments
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 30, 2010 11:43 AM CST
President Obama waves from the ninth green at Mid-Pacific County club near where his holiday vacation in Kailua, Hawaii, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(Newser) – President Obama bypassed the Senate yesterday to make six recess appointments, the most controversial being a deputy attorney general whose links to the insurance giant AIG had stalled his confirmation. Obama first nominated James Cole to the No. 2 Justice Department post in May, but GOP lawmakers blocked his confirmation in part because of questions about his role as an independent consultant for AIG before its near-collapse in 2008. He's a close friend of Attorney General Eric Holder.

Others appointed were: William Boarman, US public printer; Matthew Bryza, ambassador to Azerbaijan; Norman Eisen, ambassador to the Czech Republic; Robert Ford, ambassador to Syria; and Francis Ricciardone, ambassador to Turkey. Obama has made 28 recess appointments this year. The White House said George W. Bush had made 23 at this point in his presidency.

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