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Samantha Power: An Exemplary Pick
Forget U.N. ambassador, she sounds like secretary-general material.


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As we have learned over the last five years, the president enjoys using the word “investment” as a tricky little proxy term for the less popular “spending.” Here, Powers one-ups him, deploying it as a surrogate for “invasion.” In order to prevent conflict, Power has argued, the United States should occupy Israeli and Palestinian territory with a “mammoth protection force.” “Unfortunately,” she mused, “imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. I mean, it’s a terrible thing to do, it’s fundamentally undemocratic.”

Well, there is that, yes. But perhaps Israel deserves it? After all, Power frequently implies that the country dictates American foreign policy. As Commentary’s Noah Pollack has observed, she is fond of implying that “Israel had something to do with the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 — an appalling slander, and a telling one.”

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Power’s artlessness is legendary. Discussing Hillary Clinton while serving as Barack Obama’s senior adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign, Power informed a writer from The Scotsman that Clinton “is a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything. . . . You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh.’” The writer from The Scotsman then informed everybody else that she had said this, which was as unethical as it was predictable. For this transgression, candidate Obama fired Power and exiled her to the wilderness until he had won the White House and the coast was clear. It wasn’t her week. Days earlier, Power had undiplomatically told the London Telegraph that she didn’t rate the prime minister but liked his subordinate and potential challenger: “David Miliband seems impressive to me. I am confused by what’s happened to Gordon Brown. I thought he was impressive.”

David Harsanyi of Human Events wrote yesterday morning that Samantha Power reminded him of Woody Allen’s observation in Annie Hall that the “one thing about intellectuals” is that “they’ve proved that you can be absolutely brilliant and have no idea what’s going on.” Perhaps, but it’s good enough for government work — and she’ll fit right in at Turtle Bay.

— Charles C. W. Cooke is a staff writer at National Review.



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