US attorneys have been a sore subject for Republicans since the Bush administration's politically motivated dismissal of eight prosecutors in 2006. But in the Obama age, the office is becoming a wellspring of strong Republican candidates, Politico reports. The current climate of public distrust toward government and financial institutions means prosecutors with reputations for even-handed integrity are attractive to voters.
Chris Christie, New Jersey’s former top prosecutor, is exciting Republicans who think he has a good chance to beat incumbent John Corzine for the governorship. A prominent Bush fundraiser in 2000, Christie has since built an impressive, bipartisan conviction record, and leads Corzine by 6 points in a recent Gallup poll. US attorneys find it easy to play "the guy who’s riding in to clean up Dodge City,” explains Patrick Meehan, a former US attorney in Pennsylvania—and a contender in the 2010 gubernatorial election there.