Samantha Power: Committed Advocate for Human Rights vs. Hillary Clinton: Committed Advocate for…Hillary Clinton

As everyone knows, Samantha Power recently resigned from her role as foreign policy adviser to Obama after calling Hillary a “monster”. What folks may not (but definitely should) know is that Ms. Power is a very well respected expert on human rights and a Pulitzer Prize-winner who wrote one of the most important books of the past decade: A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.
While she did the noble thing (for the campaign) in resigning, I think–given her intellectual and academic background–it is worthwhile to look at her comment not as an attack but as an honest assessment (read non-political) of the Clinton campaign that slipped out in an unguarded moment. It just really upsets me that most folks will just read her name in passing and not probe deeper to discover the amazing humanitarian work she has done.

Ever since I read her book I have had tremendous respect for Power and how she fearlessly and passionately speaks her mind and argues for what is right. I think this comment, though admittedly ill-advised, speaks to that aspect of her character. It must be hard for someone who feels passionately about what is right to play the political game. Politics requires saying what people want to hear, which quite often is in conflict with what needs to be said. It was not a “personal attack”, it was instead an “off the record?” and honest assessment of a calculating politician who has placed her desire for a political office before all else–and, as Ms. Clinton herself and others have shown, honesty has very little place in a political campaign.

Though this may be a setback in her political career, I am sure Ms. Power will continue to fight and advocate for human rights and will continue to make the world a better place. It is a shame she has left the Obama team, the nation and the world could have used someone with her passion for basic human rights in a high cabinet position. The very fact that someone of her character was a part of the Obama team is just one more reason for me to support Obama.

Oh, and read her new book on Sergio Vierra de Mello . I have it on hold and can’t wait until the library gets it in.

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