The Press Is Bored

Not sure what else to say about this:

Samantha Power, the Harvard professor who was forced to resign from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign last spring after calling Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton “a monster,” is now advising the president-elect on transition matters relating to the State Department — which Clinton is slated to head.

Power is listed on Obama’s transition Web site as part of the team reviewing national security agencies. Her duties, according to the site, will be to “ensure that senior appointees have the information necessary to complete the confirmation process, lead their departments, and begin implementing signature policy initiatives immediately after they are sworn in.”

In short, she is part of a team that is likely to work directly with Clinton, a potentially awkward situation for the two women. Obama is expected to officially announce Clinton as his choice for secretary of state after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Transition officials declined to comment. A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to an e-mail sent yesterday evening. Power has been on the list of review team officials since mid-November; the Associated Press first called attention to her presence on the list yesterday.

First, the Clinton behavior at a certain point in time during the campaign WAS, in fact, monstrous. Second, I believe Hillary Clinton said any number of things about Barack Obama that would be far more damaging than a petty insult, and what do you know- Hillary is tapped to be Obama’s SoS. Finally, this whole thing sells both of these women short. Why is it the media thinks that Obama can look over the Hillary slights from the primary, but that Power and Clinton can not work out their differences. These women are both professionals. They are both extremely intelligent and are both accomplished women, and Clinton in particular is a machine who is able to look towardsa goal and put everything else aside while working towards that goal. They will work it out, and pretending they won’t is just silliness.






41 replies
  1. 1
    bago says:

    If you can’t take it, you shouldn’t dish it. However, when you have two people that can bring it you get some fantastic results. Anyone invested in coming up with accurate results wants their ideological foes to bring their a-game. Stifiling the competition is a tactic for insecure inadequate bitches. (note, this is not the gendered bitches, this is the straight up bitches bitches, like that cheater is such a little bitch bitch).

  2. 2
    JL says:

    Hell with the press! Samantha Power is a qualified individual who will perform her job flawlessly and I’m sure Hillary is quite pleased with the selection. Maybe the press was hoping for a cat fight.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    No, no, you don’t understand. DRAMA! INTRIGUE! Headline News! When you’ve got two wars, a collapsing economy, a freshly won election, and terrorist attacks in India just to scratch the surface, what else are you going to talk about?

    The "liberal" media needs to keep the Natalie Holloway news viewer glued to his screen. This is all they’ve got for now. I expect pretty missing white girls to start popping up shortly.

  4. 4
    lovethebomb says:

    If Obama can overlook the implied racism of the infamous 3 am phone call ads, then Hillz can overlook the monster comment from Power. After all, why would you show shots of kids in bed during the middle of the night if the threat were not home invasion, chronicled most often by local media as primarily perpetrated by black men. Pulling such a stunt, which actually helped her ‘hard working whites" Southern Strategy, was truly monstrous. Politics is not bean bag, as big blue himself often says, and all these players are operating at a level which indicates these spats mean more to the 24 hr media cycle than to them. If O picked Power for the job, he must think she will excell in the position. There is no more there there.

  5. 5
    Incertus says:

    Well of course the press is bored–the real story is taking place on the other side of the world and they’re largely stuck here playing out the Bush string. Plus, they have a reputation to maintain–Clintons = drama to them, even though the press manufactures most of it.

  6. 6
    Napoleon says:

    One thing for sure, no way Obama is picking her without giving Clinton the chance to object, and I would presume that Powers and Clinton have talked by phone in the last few days.

    This is a non-story.

  7. 7
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Well of course the press is bored—the real story is taking place on the other side of the world and they’re largely stuck here playing out the Bush string.

    Let’s not be too judgmental. Our press always reports the foreign news as soon as McClatchey and the BBC tell them what it is.

  8. 8
    Tim Fuller says:

    This is what passes as news?
    Enjoy.

  9. 9
    Incertus says:

    @Napoleon: The first article I read on the story yesterday made mention of the fact that Power had apologized to Clinton personally and that she had accepted the apology. This is less than a non-story.

  10. 10
    SGEW says:

    Actually, this underlines a central question about the Obama foreign policy team: remember, Samantha Power’s crack about Clinton being a "monster" was not just about the primary season, but was also (I believe) a reflection of Prof. Power’s long-standing criticism of the Clintons’ foreign policies. Power first made her name by strongly denouncing the Clinton-era’s blunders in the Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia, and the Balkans.

    The tension between a SoS Clinton and Samantha Power in regards to humanitarian intervention is the real story. Have they discussed that?

  11. 11
    Kevin Horner says:

    If insulting someone’s economic plan (George Bush’s "Voodoo Economics" line) doesn’t disqualify someone from becoming the insultee’s (Saint Reagan) Vice President, why should calling someone out on their activity on the campaign trail disqualify someone for a Presidential transition staff?

  12. 12
    Comrade Jake says:

    Power stepping off the Obama campaign was a low point for me in the primaries. I think she made that comment *off the record*, for Chrissakes. It came around the same time as the NAFTA nonsense, Hillary making all kinds of noise over NAFTA and mailers and whatnot, and getting the sense that it was going to stretch on forever.

    It was not a particularly fun couple of weeks.

  13. 13
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    The media not only WANTS a cat fight, they NEED one. News is in a lull these days and now that the seige in India is over, they got nothing to keep anyone interested until January 20th (unless the stock market completely collapses or Dick Cheney holds up in a white house closet prepared to shoot anyone in the face who tries to remove him).

  14. 14
    tas says:

    If I were Samantha Power, I’d be paranoid about the WaPo’s coverage of (against?) her — she’s a former Post reporter and they seem to have a bone up their ass about her. Perhaps it’s because Power, in the preface to her book "A Problem from Hell", discusses a Post editor who killed her story of an impending massacre in Srebrenica. Power insinuates that, according to the Post editor, massacres are only stories after they happen. If rest of the normal world would consider such actions shameful, and perhaps the Post editors don’t like being called out for the fucking shitheads that they are.

    I’m just saying.

  15. 15
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    Both Power and Clinton will be serving at the pleasure of the president, I’m sure they’ll please him immensely (or else they will make him look bad and get a dark mark on their career tabulator).

  16. 16
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    @tas:

    Power insinuates that, according to the Post editor, massacres are only stories after they happen.

    Apparently they agree with Condi Rice ("no one could have foreseen…" – not even the August 6, 2001 PDB)

  17. 17
    D-Chance. says:

    These women are both professionals.

    Indeed.

  18. 18
    canuckistani says:

    This is EXCELLENT NEWS! For Rupert Murdoch!

  19. 19

    […] Let’s hug now, sing Kumbaya. Pass the popcorn. […]

  20. 20
    Hyperion says:

    perhaps the Post editors don’t like being called out for the fucking shitheads that they are.

    funny because that’s what the crazy columnists pretty much get called by the WaPo commenters. chucky K. got pilloried badly in his most recent effort. i never saw one supportive comment. k parker, however, eschewed penning nonsense and got some praise.

  21. 21
    Mr. Furious says:

    This, of course, also assumes that Clinton actually took Powers’ remarks personally or cared about them. I doubt she did. At all.

    So there really is no reason this should be an issue for either of them.

    This kind of crap is the biggest reason I object to Hillary as SoS. IF this were anyone else, this would never happen. With Hilary, it will never stop.

  22. 22
    shirt says:

    Come now: what you refer to as "the press" is an amalgam of egotistical elitist who perculated to the top of their industry by stepping on anyone who was in their way. They can not perceive that there are other modes of profesional behaviour.

  23. 23
    Brachiator says:

    Why is it the media thinks that Obama can look over the Hillary slights from the primary, but that Power and Clinton can not work out their differences. These women are both professionals. They are both extremely intelligent and are both accomplished women….

    The media can’t resist an opportunity for imagining two women in a catfight (or better yet, hot oil wrestling). I recall that sly accusations of a conflict between Laura Bush and Condi Rice managed to seep up from the sleaze media into some of the mainstream media.

    But I also get the impression here that some of the Washington press corps still want to look at Obama and Clinton as equals. Previous stories about Clinton possibly joining an Obama Adminsitration emphasized the "negotiations" between the two camps, and speculated on the degree of independence that Clinton would have in picking people to work for her at State.

    But I am very glad to hear that Power is an Obama adviser. She is more than just a Harvard professor (there’s that old devil elitism rearing its ugly head), she represents a clear alternative to foreign policy thinking that is far more incisive than the stodgy "experienced" views of either Biden or Clinton.

    That Power is on board and advising Obama on foreign policy appointments is another verification that Obama is determined that foreign policy represent his vision. This is the real story, not any phony nonsense about Clinton and Power scrabbling like the ladies on "The View."

  24. 24

    John, your failure to note that this is a SLAP IN THE FACE TO HILLARY is a SLAP IN THE FACE!

    You know, I seem to remember a time when reporters went out and found stories when things were a tad slower than usual. Then the ice age came and wiped all of them out. Lazy fuckers that create intrigue and drama where there is none filled the niche. [Sigh]

  25. 25
    Brachiator says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    John, your failure to note that this is a SLAP IN THE FACE TO HILLARY is a SLAP IN THE FACE!

    I’m surprised that there is not an official "Slap in the Face to Hillary" watch at some newspaper or blog site. Actually, there probably is one, and I’ve just never run across it yet. I’m waiting for the almost inevitable story asking if Obama can bring back Samantha Power, why can’t Hillary rehabilitate Geraldine Ferraro. By the way, has anyone even asked Gerry’s opinion about the election results?

  26. 26
    Singularity says:

    All of this fails to take into account that Hillary is, in fact, a monster. Specifically, a cookie monster.

  27. 27
    srv says:

    she represents a clear alternative to foreign policy thinking that is far more incisive than the stodgy "experienced" views of either Biden or Clinton.

    Yes, she talks about Africa a lot, and wants to put a lot of troops there. But not American troops. Not sure where she thinks all these troops are going to come from. Oh, NATO. Not like they’re being used anywhere like Afghanistan or anything. And then there’s the occupation force for Palestine…

    Samantha is one of the ‘cruise missile left’. They have done the simulations in their sandboxes and think they’re ready to play in big-time experiments like Rwanda and Darfur. The CIA will love her, the Pentagon wil roll their eyes.

  28. 28
    myiq2xu says:

    If Obama can overlook the implied racism of the infamous 3 am phone call ads, then Hillz can overlook the monster comment from Power. After all, why would you show shots of kids in bed during the middle of the night if the threat were not home invasion, chronicled most often by local media as primarily perpetrated by black men.

    Because when a home invasion occurs at 3 am, most people call the President instead of the local police.

  29. 29
    gil mann says:

    Because when a home invasion occurs at 3 am, most people call the President instead of the local police.

    I was gonna take issue with that same comment, but you did a better job than I would’ve.

    Admitting that hurts a little, I ain’t gonna lie to ya.

  30. 30
    liberal says:

    @srv:

    Samantha is one of the ‘cruise missile left’.

    Right; screw the catfight crap. All I care is: how "interventionist" is the adviser/cabinet appointee/whatever?

  31. 31
    Ed in NJ says:

    The problem for the press is going to be how to report the news without all the conflict and drama of the past 16 years. Because Obama seems to be doing his best to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness, with the implicit goal of actually being able to work together to solve some problems. Unfortunately, this doesn’t sell papers or bring eyeballs to the screen.

  32. 32
    srv says:

    Right; screw the catfight crap. All I care is: how "interventionist" is the adviser/cabinet appointee/whatever?

    They will all be interventionists. See, real Dems don’t think interventionism is bad, they just think it can be catagorized between ‘smart’ and ‘dumb’.

  33. 33
    Johnny Pez says:

    Slightly OT, who wants to start a betting pool on the first pundit to use the phrase "Obama fatigue"? I’ve got fifty bucks on MoDo.

  34. 34
    Brachiator says:

    @srv:

    The CIA will love her, the Pentagon wil roll their eyes.

    Is this the same CIA that let Bush/Cheney steamroll them into validating the WMD lie, and the Pentagon that brought us the pointless Iraq incursion?

    And is this the same foreign policy establishment who convinced themselves that the Iraqi people were yearning for Chalabi, who was clearly "our guy" and incapable of double-dealing? Is this the same bunch of experienced intelligence and military folk who guaranteed that Musharef would meekly do Washington’s bidding, and could control the Pakistani people, who after all were just a bunch of saps with no sense of their own national interests?

    Is this the same foreign policy establishment that loves dealing with Westernized Arab princes because, after all, the Saudis are our "eternal allies" and would never, never ever fail to support American Middle East policy?

    Oh yes, we should really worry about the CIA’s and the Pentagon’s opinion of Samantha Power, ’cause these guys are the epitome of foreign policy wisdom.

  35. 35
    Laura W says:

    @Johnny Pez: I’m gonna go do a Tarot card spread to see if I wanna go with Lou Dobbs or Joe Scarborough.
    I’ll get back to ya.

  36. 36
    wilfred says:

    Power’s original dismissal wasn’t just because of her remark about Clinton – she’d already pissed off the Aipac crowd by (gasp) supporting a Palestinian state. Her conflicts with Clinton will come if and when Obama starts removing Homeland’s head from its collective ass by recognizing that there are other human beings in the Middle East other than the members of the Likud party, something that Clinton once understood herself.

    Obama surprised me by inviting Power back, a sign, I hope, that decency and fair play might actually trump ideology in his administration. Good for him.

  37. 37
    Betsy says:

    @SGEW:

    The tension between a SoS Clinton and Samantha Power in regards to humanitarian intervention is the real story. Have they discussed that?

    No, because DUH, actual policy differences between powerful women are BOR-ING. Flashing eyes, bitchy comments, simmering resentment, and secret undermining, on the other hand, imply that there might be some good "women are so catty and can’t work together" stories. And who doesn’t love a good bitchfight story?

  38. 38
    The Crafty Trilobite says:

    Wilfred, the problem was not that Power supported a Palestinian state. Even most of AIPAC is on board with the two-state solution in principle. The problem was that Power in a 2002 televised interview recommended massive armed intervention to force that solution, and for withdrawal of military aid to Israel.

    This wasn’t just a heat of the moment thing, either. On different occasions, Power also went out of her way to criticize the NYT for debunking the Jenin "massacre" libels, saying it should instead have headlined Israel’s war crimes during that invasion, and she blamed Zionists for the invasion of Iraq. In short, she’s a typical ivory-tower Israel basher– but she has the ear of the President.

    I’m a biiig Obama booster, but Power scares the s**t out of me as a Jew, and I am very perturbed to see her popping back up again. Obama himself obviously doesn’t know a lot about Israel, as shown by his "Jerusalem must remain undivided" gaffe last June. Nobody who had delved deeply into the issue would have blundered into that phrase. Fair enough, he has much bigger priorities — but for exactly that reason, he’s going to rely on advisors about this particular subject. I just pray that Power isn’t one of them.

  39. 39
    Person of Choler says:

    Welcome to having your folks running the government.

  40. 40
    TheOtherMikey says:

    I’m more worried that Power called herself the "genocide chick" than whatever names she called Clinton.

  41. 41

    @lovethebomb:

    If Obama can overlook the implied racism of the infamous 3 am phone call ads,

    This is a bit of a reach, of an single racial group in the US the white race is the most numerous so a white family is not a surprise. As for the rest of it, my impression from news reports (admittedly local is OR) is whites are the offenders. I don’t ignore racism, but I also don’t go looking to make it be.

    The press and a catfight discussion would seem to ignore the difference between the professions of politics and journalism. It is quite ordinary for politicians to say mean things about each other – an accepted fact of life for those in that game. On the other hand you may have noted that on the odd occassion where a journalist says something critical of another a rather large cat fight breaks out. I doubt it has much to do with egos; it takes a bit of ego to think you should be elected to represent people. It isn’t much of surprise that journalists bring their personal experience to a "story". Something being a story because a journalist perceives it to be one.

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