Friday, December 5, 2008

The Return of Samantha Power

Samantha Power is one amazing woman. In her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, she dared to ask the question: Why do American leaders who vow "never again" repeatedly fail to stop genocide? (Yeah, why is that?) Her work on human rights, genocide, and war is something to admire. I was thrilled when I found out that she was one of the advisers to the Obama campaign. Actually, that was one of the reasons that made me look at Obama closer during the Primaries.

Then "IT" happened. While being interviewed she made a rookie politician mistake: she spoke her mind. Thinking that she was off mike she called Hillary Clinton a "monster." Oops! Thus ended the Samantha Power connection to the Obama campaign. There is a reason that Obama has earned the nickname: "No Drama Obama." During his campaign (and it looks like during his administration as well) Obama is not very tolerant of personal theatrics. But the guy is smart. He knows a valuable individual when he sees one. So now Samantha Power is back and part of the review team for the incoming members to the State Dept. -- including Hillary Clinton. Interesting.

I'm glad to see Samantha Power back. She is a treasure, if only for her passionate resolve in making human rights a necessary consideration in American foreign policy. A former Balkan war correspondent, founding executive director of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Critics Circle Award, Samantha Power is a welcome re-addition to the Obama Team.


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