Today the U.S., tomorrow the world

Samantha Power was part of Obama’s campaign team until in March 2008 she referred to Hillary Clinton as “a monster,” and then was called on to resign.  She’s now back with Obama as part of the “transition team” and will no doubt continue to work for him.  Here are a few select quotes from an interview with her, published in New Statesman last March.  All emphases are mine.

New Statesman – Interview: Samantha Power

“Obama has talked a lot about the importance of moving away from electocracy,” she says, trying to move on to more comfortable territory, and suggesting that the way people actually live is more important than the “reification of elections”.

In terms of how radical the shift will be, I think it’s very hard. There’s going to be a huge foreign service and civil service that he will inherit, senators and congressmen who have already been elected. So I think he is one guy, trying to steer this ship of cacophonous agendas into a new place.”

[…]

“There will be situations where the priority is self-defence,” she says, indicating that a preference for multilateralism only goes so far. “President Obama, like every other leader on earth, is still going to be looking out for national and economic interests. States don’t cease to be states overnight just because they get a great visionary as their new president.

[…]

Refreshingly unsmoothed by politics, Power – and, by extension, Obama – is advocating a nuanced form of foreign policy that takes “the world as it is” but seeks its betterment. It is a pragmatism informed by principle, as well as a certain briskness. At one point, discussing the UN, I say “not to criticise Ban Ki-moon” and Power butts in: “Oh go ahead, please do.” She opens her hands wide at the UN secretary general’s name. “Is that all there is?” she asks. “Can we afford to do without a global figure, a global leader?”

Sergio Vieira de Mello is sadly no longer available to fill such a role. But Samantha Power knows a man who is.

Draw your own conclusions.

via RBO

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