(Billy Hallowell) This morning it was announced that President Barack Obama will nominate foreign policy confidant Samantha Power to replace Susan Rice as the United States ambassador to the United Nations. But, who is she? If you’ve been a long-time Blaze reader, you are likely familiar with the controversial figure. If not — or if you’d simply like a refresher — allow us to provide an overview.
Power, a human rights expert and former White House adviser, left the White House earlier this year, though she was considered the president’s likely pick to move to the U.N. As TheBlaze reported this morning, she has long been connected to Obama. And if you’ll recall, she has had her fair share of controversy, specifically after she was forced to resign from the president’s 2008 campaign following negative remarks she made about Hillary Clinton.
In an interview with The Scotsman during the heat of the 2008 presidential race, Power called Clinton a “monster.”
“We f***** up in Ohio. In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio’s the only place they can win,” she said of the Obama camp’s efforts and of Clinton’s political prowess. “She is a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything.”
Power’s comments though didn’t lead to completely severed ties to Obama, as she was soon back in the fold. So, too, was her husband — she is the wife of former regulatory czar Cass Sunstein. As early as 2011, TheBlaze covered expectations that Power could possible secure greater power, specifically if the president was elected to a second term. Her U.N. appointment appears to solidify these expectations.
In the past, Irish Central called her one of the main architects of the Obama administration’s policies in Libya, noting her influence over the White House. And Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said in a 2011 New York Times profile that “She is clearly the foremost voice for human rights within the White House and she has Obama’s ear.”
Bloomberg has more about her Libya involvement as well:
She played a role, along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and other NSC advisers, in convincing Obama to push for a UN Security Council resolution to authorize a coalition military force to protect Libyan civilians. Other administration figures were concerned about the effectiveness of a no-fly zone and differences within NATO over what Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned would be a “big operation.” [...]
Power, who sought the limelight as a writer and public intellectual, has learned to be a behind-the-scenes policymaker over the past two years, associates say.
Eventually, she repaired relations with Clinton. That said, she’s still widely seen as a problem by conservatives who oppose her ideals. After all, it wasn’t only her comments about the former Democratic presidential candidate that has caught the ire of critics; her foreign policy, too, is seen by some as problematic.