UPDATE: Friday 11:45am ET. Power has resigned. Good. The only tenable response. Obama initially only "decried" the comment - he didn't act to fire her or ask for her resignation. And Power's resignation didn't happen till AFTER the outrage grew and became apparent. Notwithstanding that - Power should be commended for having (eventually) done the right thing. Now we can get back to the issues. And to hoping that whoever we pick as our prospective president has the judgment to select senior foreign policy advisors who are experienced enough to not make such fundamental mistakes in the first place.
"SHE IS A MONSTER..." - Samantha Power - Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Barack Obama Direct quote in interview published in The Scotsman (UK) March 7, 2008
Taking time out from her duties as one of Barack Obama's advisors to promote her latest commercially-published book, ["Chasing The Flame" Penguin Press $32.95]- Samantha Power decided to express her true feelings about Hillary Clinton to one of Britain's leading political correspondents - Gerri Peev of The Scotsman.(a respected national daily newspaper since 1817)
Having expleted her way through the Obama campaign's recent stumbles: "We fucked up in Ohio" she turned her attentions to Senator Hillary Clinton.
This senior representative of the "New Type Of Politics" expressed herself in no uncertain terms about Hillary Clinton.
"SHE IS A MONSTER..."
Then - in a moment worthy of the Watergate culprits interviewed by Woodward and Bernstein - she tried the oldest scam in the "we fucked up" book - she tried to claim her comment was off-the-record AFTER THE FACT.
She said: "She is a monster, too - that is off the record - she is stooping to anything,"
Alas - that is not kosher. Just not done. You can't retroactively claim "off-the-record" status in the middle of an on-the-record interview with a national daily newspaper - just because (to use her dainty language) you "fucked up". THAT is "stooping to anything".
Ms Power is not a child or a neophyte. She is a grown woman age 37, who graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School and is herself a journalist for Time Magazine. With a journalism career writing for U.S. News & World Report, The Boston Globe, The Economist and The New Republic. In other words - she knows the rules.
The rules of this interview were established at the outset. As the journalist for The Scotsman noted:
"In this instance, Samantha Power was promoting her book and it was established in advance that the interview was on the record."
Not allowed. Not done. TILT.
So what will Barack Obama do about this?
Will he follow the example set by Hillary Clinton who has dismissed advisors and campaign staff who have made intemperate and inappropriate statements?
Will he denounce and reject Samantha Power for her loathsome comment? And dismiss her from his campaign?
Will he embody "The New Type Of Politics" of which he speaks so often?
Or will he give her a free pass and in so doing condone the description of a fellow Senator and former First Lady as "A MONSTER"?
We shall see.
We certainly know what the uproar would be if a senior Clinton advisor was caught calling Barack Obama "A MONSTER"...
"I have been very clear to my campaign. I do not want to see research that is involved in trying to tear people down personally. If I find out that somebody is doing that, they will be fired. And I have been absolutely crystal clear about this, and I have been clear about this for a very long time." - Barack Obama - December 2007
Incidentally, I apologize in advance to Ms. Power for the use of the word "kosher" in a paragraph adjacent to her name. I am mindful of her long-standing, oft-expressed virulent objections to the State of Israel (in a 2002 speech she proposed that the US spend billions of dollars to impose a Palestinian state by military means) - and I do not mean to offend her by placing a word that she may find offensive so near to her name.
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