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NYTimes.com: Bush Picks Alberto Gonzales to Replace Ashcroft at Justice Dept.

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November 10, 2004

Bush Picks Alberto Gonzales to Replace Ashcroft at Justice Dept.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 3:48 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush named White House counsel Alberto Gonzales as attorney general on Wednesday, picking the administration's most prominent Hispanic for a highly visible post in the war on terror.

``His sharp intellect and sound judgment have helped shape our policies in the war on terror,'' Bush said of the man who has served as the White House's top lawyer over the past four years.

In an announcement in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Bush outlined Gonazles' personal story -- a boy who grew up in a family of eight children in a two-bedroom house in Texas -- and now is in line for a Cabinet post.

If confirmed by the Senate, the 49-year-old Texan would become the first Hispanic to hold the job as the nation's top law enforcement officer.

Even before the formal announcement, one Senate Democratic liberal welcomed the appointment of ``someone less polarizing'' to the position. ``We will have to review his record very carefully, but I can tell you already he's a better candidate than John Ashcroft,'' said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Ashcroft announced plans on Tuesday to step down.

© MBM

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