March 26th, 2008
01:18 PM ET
10 years ago

Controversial former Obama adviser again takes aim at Clinton

(CNN) - Former Barack Obama adviser Samantha Power – who resigned from his campaign earlier this month after calling Hillary Clinton a “monster” - said Tuesday night she was stunned by the “political mileage” the New York senator had gotten from her comments on the timing of any withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

"What I was saying is that you have to take into account what the generals on the ground are telling you," Power told a Columbia University audience Tuesday night, according to a report in the Huffington Post.

“Take for example that 3 a.m. phone call (a theme in a Clinton campaign ad)… She is not going to answer the phone and play a voicemail she recorded in 2007. That is crazy. She is going to judge the situation in 2009. Of course she is going to take into account what the generals have to say about the Iraq situation and what they are saying on the ground."

Earlier this month, the Clinton campaign seized on remarks made by Power – who had already left the Illinois senator’s campaign – that Obama "will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or U.S. senator" to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

Clinton advisers said Obama's entire campaign was based on his attempts to contrast his early opposition to the Iraq war with Clinton's vote in favor of a resolution authorizing the use of force in that conflict — and fatally weakened by any suggestion that he might alter his current position.

"It turns out those attacks and speeches were just words. And if you can't trust Senator Obama's words, what's left?" said one Clinton campaign memo.

Despite her controversial exit from the campaign trail, Power seemed to suggest Tuesday night that she might be part of an Obama administration.

"Because of the kind of campaign that Senator Obama has run, it seemed appropriate for someone of my Irish temper to step aside, at least for a while,” Power told a Columbia University audience. “We will see what happens there."

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Chuck in Oregon

    No she will not be answering that 3 am phone call, unless she is dreaming.

    March 26, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. An Agnostic Democrat

    Geez, imagine someone willing to take a stand in the face of adversity and asssess the conditions properly before going headstrong into the wind with "no plan for success" McSame as Bush or empty "plan", "solution" and "promise" trouble- telling- the-truth-Clinton.

    March 26, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. t

    read this article. Very good at putting the campaign in perspective. You want your leaders to actually leader on follow the wind and then make some back handed insult when they are caught straight lying.

    March 26, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Beau

    I'm an Obama supporter and I recognize that both these candidates have similar positions and both are trying to win. if there were 2 republicans still running, that race would be nasty too. Which ever one does win, all democrates have to back the nominee. If we're dumb enough to let our emotions drive us to McCain, then we deserved Bush all along.

    March 26, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Jack

    Ah doy...I think Clinton has been saying for several months now that she would first listen to the Generals on the ground and meet with her military before any troop removal. Powers, it's your guy Obama who has said up until recently that he would remove troops immediately. CLINTON was the first to say she would listen to Generals on the ground. Get your facts straight!

    March 26, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. ralph

    Just wait until the RNC starts in on Obama. He will definetly get a taste of swift boating. If Obama is the nomine the Republicans will have a field day. The T V adds are in production even as we speak.

    March 26, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. American Girl

    Any president HRC, JSM, or BHO will not be able to make a true plan for IRaq until they have had an opportunity to
    1. Meet with the Generals Running the War
    2. Meet and Discuss Options with Allies (oh, because of Bush we have none)
    3. Meet and Review information with their cabinet.

    I think all of these candidates are making political talk... Our young men and women are dying everyday. It is a broken record to keep saying the war should not have been fought. The problem is we are there now and we need to decide how to resolve this issue.

    Victory may not be destroy all the Terrorist... like some think.. new ones are born everyday.

    Victory just might be in sitting down with both foes and enemies and coming to a common agreement. I.e. No one wants their people and children dying. We may have to decided that our great republic's government system may not be best for everyone.

    This is why I support Barack... he may not hav foreign affairs experience... but he is willing to talk about negotiation.
    This G.W.Bush policy of you are either for us or against us... is what has saturated US Policies....( HRC even abides by this .....recall – Bill Richardson).

    I beleive that Rev.Wright was basically stating that America can not just go around imposing our values on other nations.

    March 26, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Carl

    WHY does CNN have this hate-filled person on its news again, Samantha Powers knows no politics and i base my opinion on the mere fact that she isn't drawing any good attention to Obama, the Obama camp all the sudden seems so hate-filled now with Rev. wrights scandal arising as well, i just don't understand why all the CNN anchors seem so angry at Hillary when the woman is an intelligent, sharp and dedicated candidate and certainly will be a President for all races, not just ONE...
    Long Beach, CA.

    March 26, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Lostfigs

    Powers was wrong to tell the British press that a sitting United States Sanator is a "Monster". I would say the same thing if it were someone from Hillary's camp.

    March 26, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hillary is an experienced liar and cannot be trusted to be accountable. Her personal ambitions out weighs her ability to tell the truth and can and will prove to be very dangerous. If she lies about her no vote for war, can you trust her as your president. She lied about bullets flying over her head while in Bosnia. You tell me how one "misspeaks" about something like that when our soldiers are being shot, killed and psychologically injured. She throws a stone then hides her hand and that is dangerous not only for Americans but nationally. The "real" Hillary is a liar.

    March 26, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Grif

    So thats how you win!!! Cheat while a comment is still being made.....

    You! MUST BE REALLY INSECURE............

    March 26, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Gail

    You would think the media would fine something more important to talk about. Bring us the news. Better yet bring us the newly fresh updated news. Rev Wright is old news.

    March 26, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Vanessa for Obama

    Hilary has REALLY proven this lady to be "right!" She is a monster! Just thin, I used to admire the Clintons. I would defend them at every turn at work during his 1st and 2nd terms. Now, I will vote for McCain, and leave the democratic party, if the nomination is given to Hilary. She said that Obama should have left his church for what the pastor said; then she should have left Bill for his destruction to women. But, oh, she could've been traumatized from the sniper fire. WOW!

    March 26, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. t

    Here we go again!!
    March 26th, 2008 2:32 pm ET

    Here we go again. Another Obama supporter loudly lashing out at Hillary Clinton. If Obama had any record of achievement in the Senate or if he had any meaningful plans instead of mere vague campaign promises, then his staff and supporters wouldn't always have to resort to attacking Senator Clinton. Obama, you won't be able to win in November even if you do steal the nomination from the most qualified Democratic candidate.

    I mean come on you are seriously delusional. I mean seriously. Do you know who started all of this negative campaigning? it was Hillary. It was and if you cant see that (which it looks like you cant) you are delusional. The only reason Obama's campaign is doing this is because for far too long she went unchallenged, yes SHE went unchallenged. Obama wasnt going to do this at the beginning of the campaign because it is easy fodder for republicans and they have plenty plenty more on her and her people that obama has been considerate enough not to go that far. Unfortunately She will do anything to get the nomination that she has completely dragged and mis-represented and lied about a fellow democrat in an attempt to destroy his political career, for her own ego. Truly disturbing that there are people who think like you and would rather have a corrupt, power hungry, un-independent person to lead our country just because bubba, in all his glory and wisdom didnt get us into any wars (he did) the left wing media, however, were too afraid to question it, and allowed our military and intelligence agencies to become weak, leading up to 9/11. Its the truth. I wish it weren't but it is. you people who support clinton need to do a serious check on where your priorities are and what is good for the country.

    March 26, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. Gail

    They should use the same stagery when they put the troops in there to get them out. What's the problem? No matter who said what get them out of there.

    March 26, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Grif


    Still as I said..... Come December.. The Mullato will be JUst

    Another Burning Ember!!!!!! Pity your so Blind..
    AND BIggots to Go!!!!

    March 26, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Do we need to redefine "lie"

    "And if you can't trust Senator Obama's words, what's left?" said one Clinton campaign memo.

    Kind of calling the kettle black, eh, Hillary?

    We can't trust your words or your supposed 35 years of experience as Bosnia, Northern Ireland, NAFTA etc, etc have all PROVEN.

    You were named after Sir Edmund Hillary, must have missed you commenting on his recent death, ooops.

    Chelsea was in harms way jogging near the WTC the morning of 9-11, what's that, she was soundly sleeping... ooops.

    The ads are writing themselves as we speak and they are not made up issues, or swiftboating you, they are your boatload of actual LIES, not 'taken out of context", "misquoted", "sorry if anyone misunderstood what I meant", they are YOUR LIES.

    March 26, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    Take the monster comment out, and the hype around this election, and looking at each candidate as if we expect them to be perfect....

    powers has a very valid point......I would hope you people would want a president that does not act rashly based on conditions today, and apply it to conditions tomorrow, even if the solutions for today is not appropiate for solutions tomorrow (case in point, that is what Bush did, and look how far it got us?!?!?)


    STOP THE HATE, VORE OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Belle

    Look....Clinton had done nothing for months when Obama Slurred her subtlely. I personally think she should have come out swinging A lot SOONER.

    The WRIGHT controversy was ABOUT why Obama sat there for 20 years while the Pastor was Spewing Hatred toward us "typical white folks".

    Instead of answering the question HIMSELF. He explained, rationalized and NEVER answered the question. Sorry folks, a LOT of us "typical White folks" find Wright's comments SO OFFENSIVE that we would have LEFT the Church. Obama takes it one step further. Friday he said if he knew those kinds of comments were happening, he would have left the church....BUT MONDAY he said he HEARD the divisive comments, and chose to stay.

    If MY PASTOR said anything like Wright did, including SNIDE remarks about Black Americans...I would NEVER sit in the pew again. PERIOD.

    Clinton, when asked the question, simply said Wright would NOT be HER Minister. Obama, I believe, spews out hatred with subtleness. Perhaps from listening to Wright for all those years. I personally have MORE hope with each new generation. But Wright has offended all of those "typical white folks" that gave their LIVES for equal rights. Even if he denounced does not change the fact he stayed there. Besides that, in denouncing him, he said he "Disagreed with him Politically." What in the heck does THAT mean?

    So NOW both Obama and Clinton sling MUD at each other, and this is like slinging cotton balls compared to what the Republicans will do to Obama in November. McCain will do what Obama of HIS supporters will fire off a Huge mudball, then McCain will immediately apologize...but the mudball is STILL there in the Media.

    Right now between Clinton and Obama...the best mudball will stick, I guess.

    March 26, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Chris In California

    Samantha Power is out for revenge? For what? Because SHE cast serious doubt that Barack Obama will do as he promised and end the Iraq war when she was interviewed by the Foreign Press? I guess she did not realize it would get back to us.

    March 26, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. Joshua

    Everybody, on both sides, isn't it apparent that we are coming to the end of the two party system? Both Hillary and Obama have lied, and we all knowthat every other President or candidate has lied for political gain more likely than not. We know for sure Clinton #1 has lied, many are convinced Bush has lied numerous times, its pretty clear JFK and FDR both told lies and kept secrets for their personal pleasure and "national interests," soon we will probably be talking about what McCain has lied about, and we could go on and on to look at comments made that don't really add up by each individual in political history. My suggestion would be that we all come to the conclusion that all politicians seem to "bend the truth" to tickle our ears with what we want to hear (and yes that goes for the Obama supporters and all you dejected Romney folks.) Most recently and clearly Obama did change his story (misspoke, "misremembered," changed his tale etc.) on camera concerning just how many of Rev. Wrights comments he was aware of before just a couple weeks ago (video to prove it can readily be accessed on CNN and Fox broadcasts.) He also changed his story concerning how much money was raised for him by his friend who is now in criminal trouble. Clinton "misspoke" about her landing in Bosnia back in 1996, and has clearly decided not to accept the DNC's ruling that Florida and Michigan should have no delegates after initially agreeing to accept and support that decision.

    So lets stop trying to get the moral "highground" in pointing out how dishonesty the other sides' candidate is and just accept that: Republicans lie, Democrats lie too, Independants lie, that Green party guy that we all want to forget lies, and most of us tend to lie when it is deemed in our best interests. If you don't want someone who lies, we had better elect someone who is deeply, personally religious who views it as a mark on their character and integrity if they lie, and who has some kind of feeling of remorse towards a higher power. Of course, most of us don't like these folks because they don't tell us what we want to hear in every situation. Oh and by the way, to all the Obama folks, he obviously doesn't qualify as one of the above, as he is getting himself quite used to telling these "lil white fibs" as he gets more into a national race. It is quite comical to see Obama self-righteously insinuate that Bush lied to get into Iraq (I am no Bush apologist, but this is an interesting insight) and that the President is a religious extremist; meanwhile he lies about his attendance and involvement during racially bigoted, extemist, and hateful sermons in the name of God and the Bible at the church he chose to attend for 20 years, and from the Pastor who converted him, married him, and baptized his daughters.

    March 26, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. fred

    Thanks Jack!!! At least there are people like you that know the facts!!

    March 26, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. t

    did you listen to his race speech and not just the "taken out of context" parts played on the news. it was more substantive than anything hillary has said while flailing her arms and raise her voice. Not only that, it take courage beyond what hillary is capable of to do that. Name one thing she's done that would even compare. Oh wait..... she's too busy misspeaking about dodging gun fire. The woman will say anything. How many times has she changed her message throughout this campaign. Obama has stayed true (until the clinton hit machine and baselessly attacked him) and is still able to face controversy with dignity and candor, while still staying true to his message. Hillary couldnt even admit until about 2 months ago or less that she was wrong on Iraq, even though she would take every chance to blast the Bush administration about it.

    March 26, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. All time liar

    Who was caught red handed? . Of course Senator Clinton the all time a liar!. Dodging sniper bullets. What a joke!. Please, drop out right now!

    March 26, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Beans

    You were right...she IS a MONSTER, and most of us agree. let's move on though. Media–there are bigger and better issues than this BS and Reverend Wright and Geraldine Ferraro. Stop digging for stuff to write about and print. Y a w n . . . . . .

    March 26, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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