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No Obama honeymoon from this Republican senator

January 21, 2009 | 12:52 pm

President Bush and Texas Senator John Cornyn

Apparently John Cornyn, the Republican senator from Texas, didn't get the memo about the new air of bipartisan cooperation in Barack Obama's Washington.

First, he grumbled about Sen. Hillary Rodman Clinton's quest to be secretary of State, complaining that her husband, ex-president Bill Clinton, posed an inherent conflict, as all those foreign donors to his foundation might also want favors from the U.S. government.

Now comes news from the Judiciary Committee that it will delay -- for up to a week -- a vote on Eric Holder's nomination to be attorney general. The reason? Cornyn wants assurances that Holder, who last week told the committee he considers water-boarding "torture," will not prosecute government agents who might have been involved in harsh methods during interrogations. 

Part of my concern relates to his statements at the hearing with regard to torture and what his intentions are toward our intelligence personnel who were operating in good faith based on their understanding of what the law was.

Let's get serious here. Cornyn could have received those assurances in a letter, in a private meeting, in an earlier conversation. Instead he's forced a delay in the committee vote so he can ask his questions in a public hearing, with all the cameras going.

Makes you wonder if Cornyn just needs some attention.

-- Johanna Neuman 

Photo: Sen. John Cornyn with former President George W. Bush. Credit: Associated Press