Obama praises Lynch: ‘She hit the ground running’

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President Obama on Wednesday praised Loretta Lynch for getting off to a fast start as attorney general and having an impact “here and abroad.”

{mosads}“She hit the ground running from Day One, she has already made her mark here at home and abroad,” Obama said at a formal swearing-in ceremony for Lynch.

“It is funny that we are installing Loretta today,” the president said. “It’s not like she has been waiting around for the embossed invitation.”

The president praised Lynch for her “tough,” but “fair” approach.

“The law is her map. Justice, her compass,” he said. “She is tough, but she is fair. She is firm, but she is kind.”

Since taking office in late April, Lynch’s Justice Department announced a blockbuster corruption case against FIFA, which shook up international soccer’s powerful governing body and earned her worldwide accolades.

She has also played a leading role in the administration’s efforts to rebuild ties between law enforcement and the communities they serve following a string of deaths of young black men at the hands of police officers.

Lynch has visited with police and community groups in six cities around the country in an effort to ease tensions between minority communities and law enforcement.

Obama spoke at Lynch’s second swearing-in ceremony at the Warner Theatre in downtown Washington. She was first sworn in by Vice President Biden on April 27. The second ceremony allowed a larger audience to attend.

Lynch, 56, became the first black female attorney general in United States history. She was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court.

She took her oath of office using a Bible that belonged to abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass.

“Many of our greatest advances in equal rights, in human rights, have come after heartbreaking loss,” Lynch said. “They come because we choose not to give in to the twin pulls of revenge and retribution, and we turn to the law.”

To the American people, Lynch pledged, “your protection, your liberties and your rights will be my sacred charge.”

Lynch is well respected by lawmakers in both parties, but she was subjected to a grueling confirmation battle than spanned nearly six months.

She succeeded Eric Holder, a close confidant of Obama’s who was reviled by Republicans for his support for the president’s immigration policies and his involvement in a controversial gun-running program known as “Fast and Furious.”

Obama and his Democratic allies viewed Holder as a fierce advocate for civil rights. And the president said Lynch shares that same commitment.

“As attorney general, Eric was driven by his fundamental belief that justice is not an abstraction,” Obama said. “It is a very real and tangible way that our laws interact with people in their daily lives. The good news is Loretta shares that view.”

Read more from The Hill:

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