For the US, for Obama’s administration, I think this is some great news. According to TPM, Samantha Power is going to be working at a high level in the NSC.
Samantha Power, the Harvard University professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author who earned notoriety for calling Hillary Rodham Clinton a “monster” while working to elect Barack Obama president, will take a senior foreign policy job at the White House, The Associated Press has learned.
Officials familiar with the decision say Obama has tapped Power to be senior director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, a job that will require close contact and potential travel with Clinton, who is now secretary of state. NSC staffers often accompany the secretary of state on foreign trips.
Full disclosure. I’ve known Sam for several years, and since it happened while she was on a book tour of the UK, I also know the real circumstances of ‘Monstergate’
A brilliant scholar, a wonderful writer, but above all a passionate and dedicated advocate for US leadership in world affairs, Sam (Irish by birth) is another example – like Obama himself – of how America can not only educate some of the best minds in the world, but also put their ideas into action.
A full list of Samantha’s resume can be found elsewhere: she’s the Anna Lindh Professor at Harvard, but her thoughts about human rights, diplomacy and international conflict were not formed in the ivory towers of academia, but from her time as a journalist in Bosnia, where she saw first hand how conflict can spiral out of control, and genocide can loom
She turned her experience there into the wider formulations of A Problem from Hell, the 2003 Pullitzer Prize winning book which explored the framework of international law since the Armenian Genocide, and informs any discussion of the topic ever since.
It doesn’t stop there. She has been at the forefront of the Darfur campaign, and as well as teaching (and working on Obama’s campaign) written the magnus opus about the UN and it’s role, for good and ill, in international affairs – Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World
It was while publicising this book which, long set up in advance, coincided with the most intense part of the Primary season, that exhausted, and cornered by a journalist immediately after finishing a phone call, that she uttered her famous words about Hillary.
In the US ‘off the record can be retroactive’. In the UK, with its rabid tabloid journalist, not so much. As soon as she realised what she had said, she offered her resignation
But those dark days are over, and the fences are mended with Hillary – after all everyone can ‘mispeak’. Samantha’s appointment to the NSC means that intranecine battles have been forgotten for the greater good of an effective administration.
For me the first full week of an Obama administration has been inspiring: how’s it been for you?