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Obama eyes Gov. Deval Patrick to replace Eric Holder at Justice


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Updated: June 18, 2013 7:43AM

Tipsville . . .

Sneed is told that Attorney General Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder’s days are numbered.

Sneed hears President Barack Obama, who is this/close to Holder, has set his sights on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as a possible replacement “when the heat dies down on the latest hot-button scandals to hit the U.S. Justice Department,” said a top White House source.

Last year, Holder became a hot button over a congressional probe of the sale of government guns to drug cartels.

This time it’s the double whammy of an IRS scandal and the U.S. Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press reporters’ phone records — which has caused a media uproar.

“The president will wait until the heat dies down — and a little time has passed beyond that — before he does anything to Holder because Holder is a close pal, and that’s a big deal in the White House,” said a top Dem source. “Holder is also a close buddy of Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett,” the source said. “Obama knows a change has to be made, but he wants Holder to leave with his reputation intact.”

◆ Cool under fire: Patrick, who hails from Chicago and will not run again for governor next year, got high marks for the way he handled the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath.

◆ Translation: ”The president will chose either Patrick, who has been a great governor, or Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, although Patrick is in the lead,” the source added. “Obama would have to replace Napolitano, but Patrick would be available.”

A royal bit . . .

The odd couple: Soldier slim Prince Harry of England, who was visiting the hurricane-damaged Jersey Shore on Tuesday, got trounced in a game of whiffle ball by the very portly N.J. Gov. Chris Christie at a carnival booth. There ya go.

The Edwards file. . .

He’s resurfaced: Former Dem presidential hopeful John Edwards is making his first public appearance since prosecutors dropped charges in the highly publicized trial involving payments made to his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter.

◆ The irony: Edwards will be discussing “Historic Trials of the Century” at a Florida lawyers’ retreat in June.

Royal musings . . .

The Rev. John Hall, the dean of Westminster Abbey, who helped preside over the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, tells Sneed that after the nuptials Middleton sent back her wedding bouquet to be placed on the abbey’s Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

◆ Backshot: “I believe I was the first to call her [Middleton] ‘your royal highness’ right after the wedding,” said Hall, who received a portrait, a personal note and a piece of boxed wedding cake as a keepsake.

◆ Foreshot: “No, the couple has not been back to Westminster Abbey since their wedding,” he said.

◆ Royal shot: Hall, who was in Chicago to conduct services at St. James Cathedral, recently in advance of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on June 4, also addressed the English-Speaking Union at the Casino Club. “The queen has a terrific sense of humor, and contrary to expected protocol, one can speak to her first before she starts the conversation,” Hall said. Blimey!

◆ Set shot: Soon-to-be-retired TV tsarina Barbara Walters is still hoping to get an interview with the queen before she leaves the airwaves. “Is that so?” said Hall. “As a matter of fact, I’ve been interviewed by Barbara Walters.” Well, for heaven’s sake.

The IRS mess!

Whoda thunk it!

Lois “I’m not good at math” Lerner, director for the IRS division reviewing tax-exempt status applications at the heart of an IRS scandal that targeted conservative groups, was to receive the “President’s Medallion” from Western New England University School of Law on Saturday, but she has bowed out.

Sneedlings . . .

Thursday’s birthdays: Tori Spelling, 40; Janet Jackson, 47, and Pierce Brosnan, 60.

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