November 29th, 2008
03:11 PM ET
3 months ago

Obama adviser who called Clinton a 'monster' back

 Power resigned from Obama's campaign earlier this year.
Power resigned from Obama's campaign earlier this year.

(CNN) - Samantha Power, the Obama foreign policy adviser who stepped down from her post earlier this year after labeling Sen. Hillary Clinton a "monster," is now working for the president-elect's transition team.

According to the Associated Press, Power is part of a team of foreign policy experts tapped by President-elect Obama to help ease the transition at the State Department - the agency Clinton is expected to head up.

Power is also formally listed as part of the State Department agency review team on the president-elect's official Web site and could directly work with Clinton should she be nominated, as expected, for the Secretary of State job.

Power stepped down from the Obama campaign in March after she called Clinton - then Obama's rival for the Democratic nomination - a "monster" and someone who "is stooping to anything." The comments came in an interview with a Scottish newspaper.

"You just look at her and think, 'Ergh,' " Power also told The Scotsman then. "The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive."

Power quickly issued an apology for the comments, but resigned her post days later.

"I made inexcusable remarks that are at marked variance from my oft-stated admiration for Senator Clinton," Power said in her resignation statement.

The Obama transition team did not comment on Power's new role.

Power is currently a professor at Harvard University and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. In 2004, Time Magazine labeled her one of America's top 100 scientists and thinkers.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIt

    Moving forward, we will need SOFT power and Hard power to govern and protect America. We have had HARD power for eight years and America is CRUMBLING under the pressure. The Clintons alone cannot reign in the beasts. The Obamas alone cannot talk its way out of conflicts. The Bush's alone cannot fight its way out of every situation. But together, when Obama effectively use the BEST of each of the groups, we will all TRIUMPHANTLY win.

    November 29, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. FreeNLovIt

    I just THANK GOD McCain did not win. His a great man, but wrong for these times. The new PREZ will have to be wise and move swiftly on all front, from the economy to fighting two wars. You just cant be a one-dimensional PREZ like BUsh anymore. These times call for a three-dimensional PREZ. We have it!!!

    November 29, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. George

    Hillary, will be our best Secretary of State ever. Just stear away from theFox News jerks. Use your on mind if you can un-wind it.

    November 29, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. Genie

    I am just thrilled that the President Elect has decided that Professor Power would be an essential part of the team. Her remark, while perhaps unfortunate, should not have disqualified such an obviously qualified person from serving in the new administration.

    November 29, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. KofTX

    There isn't a law against free speech yet is there? The people in Obama's new administration don't have to love each other. They just have to be big enough to put their ego's aside and work together for the good of the country.

    November 29, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. TRUTH

    powers can't be that bright if she can't control her comments like michelle obama can, " I would like to scratch Bill Clintons eyes out", Two very smart women that is a joke. Michelle obama did say this.

    November 29, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. kelly WI

    Obama is going more to the right and following Bushes foreign policies every day. Better quit bashing Bush as you will be saying the same about Obama.

    November 29, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. Jasmine in Germany

    Welcome back, Samantha Power. Isn't it just amazing how short people's memories are? I saw no reason why you should have taken a step back in the first place, nor do I see a reason for you to that that now. And yes, politicians are public servants. Whoops! I forgot to follow human intelligence and manners rules.

    November 29, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Roberta Avancena

    What Samantha Power said about Senator Clinton was not just a slip of the tongue. Her comments were venemous - perhaps the worst I heard throughout the entire 2008 presidential race. I would be interested to know if Senator Clinton has accepted her apology. If not, what is she doing on President-elect Obama's transition team? Her comments show a scary lack of self-discipline.

    November 29, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Yay! Texas Teacher for all your great comments, and to others with similar wisdom. Thank you thank you thank you!

    People who are so negative and divisive is what we voted against – with "a new kind of politics" and a new kind of president.

    Pray for Obama that he may weather the storms that lie ahead.

    November 29, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. JAN

    Rachel...FYI, Daschle and Kennedy have their reigns on healthcare!

    November 29, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    Well lets see IRENE...... We the voters had two choices... WE could take McCain/Palin ( the third term of Bush) OR..... We could take Obama/Biden... (you call it Clintons 3ed term) Now lets get real here, Irene... Clinton left office with a big surplus in the budget and Bush is leaving the taxpayer with trillions in debt.. I don't know how you run your household budget but I prefer mine to be on the surplus side... So, Irene, do you now understand why we voters elected Obama?

    November 29, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. GeeBer

    She shouldn't have retracted a thing. She a brilliant scholar who knows perfectly well that her remarks about the Clintons are perfectly true. They are both completely amoral. (And, yes, I said "amoral")

    November 29, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. Truth

    Obama- Mastermind
    Clintons-MOnsters
    Obama + Clintons = Disaster

    November 29, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    If the anti-Obama were paying attention, they would know that the change comes from Obama: He has repeatedly stated that "Change" is his job – his vision and his leadership ... not just a "new"face ... we need and what Obama is providing is intelligent, experienced people who will follow his lead. Bush picked loyal Bushies: intelligent people need not apply: Brownie was a horse trainer... no wonder why he did such a good job with Katrina!

    As for Obama's money: he earned it by writing best selling books: that's more than one book that earned him money when lots and lots of people bought it.

    I can't imagine who McCain would be choosing as his cabinet: Lieberman, Lindsay Gramm, Phil (Mr. Deregulation) Gramm with Palin as a VP and Joe the Plumber as the fresh face...

    If you are listening, Obama is talking tough times ahead and no instant solutions. Change is how things are going to get done – listen ...

    November 29, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. JAN

    Brendan H., San Antonio, TX
    If it was about holding grudges...HRC would not be considered for SoS. What Power said about Hillary was not worse than what McCain said about Chelsea Clinton in 1998 and yet, HRC still praised McCain more than Obama during the primaries...ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THESE ARE POLITICIANS. And BTW...what makes you think that Power can not defend herself if she ever repeated what she said? But, I honestly, think it is a new day and campaign is over and people are trying to reconcile their differences.

    November 29, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. JT from Missouri

    Do I have to remind people again here that WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER NO MATTER WHAT OUR POLITICAL AFFILIATION IS? For those people who do not know how to stop bashing people just because they disagree politically with you is unacceptable. Whether you are Democrat, Republican, or independent, I want you to read my type written lips, "THIS IS NOT THE RED STATES OF AMERICA OR THE BLUE STATES OF AMERICA, THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" Remember that quote from Obama, and this country will get back on track for sure. For those people who hate other people bashing Bush, I think that personally he is a okay person. It is just that politically he made some unwise choices. I have a personal goal for myself. I will never attack anyone personally no matter how bad of a politician he may be. Anyone who does needs to rethink their tactics. Remember I am only 17 and I have the common sense to say that. I hope their are other people like that as well. God Bless the US.

    November 29, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. Juan

    I myself was upset with Clinton at the time on how she was running her campaign. I wished she had not been so negative during the primaries. I did not care who won as long as the other was VP. But, her (extremely) negative campaigning ruined that possiblity. I would have lost some respect for him had he chose her for VP. I am sure alot of his other supporters would have as well. That does not mean I don't think she should play a big role in his administration. I think he would be crazy not to try getting her in a high ranking position. Just like he would be crazy not surrounding himself with the absolute brightest people. We need a true dipolmat in office who will restore our international relationships that Slick Willy worked so hard on, and GW ruined overnight.

    Good job President Elect for being able to put your ego aside. It is refreshing to see that this is what we will be getting the next 8 years.

    November 29, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. A Real Feminist

    WHO CARES?!!! 195 people killed by terrorists in Mumbai. We don't need another another story to distract us from the fact that the war in terror is ineffective and Pakistan continues to harbor terrorists while calling themselves our ally. G-d, U.S. news is sooo shallow!!

    November 29, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. DEB

    WHAT DO YOU EXPECT, THE RACIST BLACK GUY PICKS PEOPLE WHO HATE HILLARY!!
    PUMA 08

    November 29, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. Jo-Ann in New York

    I AM SO SICK OF READING THESE HATE FILLED BLOGS AGAINST OBAMA!!! HE IS OUR PRESIDENT-ELECT NO MATTER WHAT YOU PEOPLE THINK OF HIM...GET OVER THE FACT THAT IS IS HALF BLACK/HALF WHITE...HE IS A MAN..AND AN INTELLIGENT MAN AT THAT...JUST GIVE HIM A CHANCE...REMEMBER WE HAVE A PRESIDENT ALREDAY UNTIL 1.20.09...WHEN PROSPERITY COMES UNDER OBAMA ARE YOU HATERS STILL GONNA COMPLAIN....THIS MAN THOUGHT ALL THIS EVEN BEFORE HE BECOME PRES-ELECT...HE IS A PLANNER AND KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING....STOP JUDGING HIM BECAUSE HE'S NOT LIKE THE REST OF THE PRESIDENTS....I HAVE NEVER HEARD SO MUCH BIAS WHEN THE OTHER 43 PRESIDENTS WERE ELECTED...WHY NOW!!!

    ANSWER THAT QUESTION FOR ME YOU SO CALLED AMERICANS...WHY A BLACK MAN CAN'T LEAD THIS COUNTRY AS WELL AS AN "WHITE" PRESIDENT....MAYBE THAT THE "REAL" CHANGE WE NEED!!! A PERSON ON ANOTHER COLOR!!!

    CNN please post this...thank you...

    November 29, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. bk

    Obama has to pick the Clinton administration because he has never run anything except his mouth, let alone a country. The question is which one of these people Obama has chosen is going to run the country. My guess, the Clintons, they know how and Obama doesn't have a clue. Obama will be given a speech to read, because thats all he knows how to do. People have created a man in their minds thats going to fix everything for them and that man does not exist. He sure suckered a lot of people in.

    November 29, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. amy..brentwood, ny

    You Haters need to get over yourselves....Pres-Elect is our next President...no matter what you think of him and his cabinet!!! I am 56 years old and never heard all htis drama about a presidential election....WHY????????????? Can some please answer my question without being BIAS!!! I am waiting!!! Thank You.

    November 29, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  24. Lene

    With all the hell that GWB has imposed upon this country in the past eight years, this issue is a non-story.

    We have Bush's economic disaster to clean up after. Our soldiers are still fighting in the Iraq War close to six years after it began. The defibrilatered VP has been indicted. The list goes on and on and on.

    To those who are so narrow minded and voted for the moron, it is going to take years to clean up after him.

    So those on the Right, Obama is more than competent. And Hillary can more than take care of herself.

    There was a ton of in-fighting in the McCain-Palin campaign, but that was not brought up by the MSM. I pray that Palin Does run in 2012.

    November 29, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  25. Lisa

    My idea of a good (if improbable) outcome would be appointing Hillary Clinton to State and then firing her as soon as her successor had been sworn into the Senate. That way, we in New York would be rid of the carpet-bagger, and the country wouldn't be saddled with her, either. Samantha Powers was 100% on target. Considering the amount of capital this country needs to rebuild in the world, we need a Secretary of State with ethics, judgment and the ability at least to coexist with other children in the sandbox - i.e., the polar opposite of Hillary Clinton.

    November 29, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
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