November 29th, 2008
03:11 PM ET
2 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. Shrimp Barnicles, NJ

    The first medicine to administer to a gaffe is a quick acknowledgment and an apology. Powers did just that and look where she is.

    November 29, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. lizbobb

    While probably a true authority on genocide, Ms. Powers was the most undiplomatic figure in the entire 2008 campaign. Her role ina state department transition is very misplaced.

    November 29, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Shannon

    Another example of this man not meaning a word of what he says. He knew he was going to bring her back, so much for hope and change. What a joke this man is, and the poor pathetic people who supported him too. In a few weeks he's gone back on his word about don't ask don't tell, hiring lobbyist and most importantly, he is now not going to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest among us. He is a liar!

    November 29, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Al

    It was obvious that she would be back; she represents part of Obama's power hungry "pc" crowd - they are disgusting because they are so self righteous. Powers is not a good team player and it makes Obama look, once again, like a politician who does what it takes to get elected but behind closed doors or after the polls close, anything goes. it is also bad form to have her around if Hillary is SOS; Powers tried to damage Clinton's campaign. Really - she isn't all that good.

    But for record - we will soon see his minister back in the fold. I give him six months on that, give or take.

    November 29, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. FAYE, NV

    There were a number of comments made back when, now it is time to work together and bury the hatchet. Congrat to Ms Power and President elect Obama would not have hired either if they were not able to do the job.

    November 29, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Fred NH

    Another exmaple of O's approach to getting the nation's top thinkers thinking for him, regardless of some questionable past issues.
    Getting the best and brightest people and giving them reign to think out loud will be O's hallmark. We will all need open minds to accept new ideas and, united in cause, put down those who will naturally oppose these changes.

    November 29, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Wow!

    Those Harvard idiots always stick together!

    November 29, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. zgomer

    Why apoligize for something that is true and we already knew about the Clitons! This young lady knew first hand what a witch she is, so know we will see the vengeful witch Cliton get her fired this time, Obuma sure isn't to smart is he you libatards.

    November 29, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. paul

    BE A MAN OF YOUR WORD, Mr OBAMA. Ms. POWERS HAS NO PLACE IN YOUR ADMINISTRATION. Out of 300 million people in the population there has to be someone else with the same type of credentials and with A LOT LESS MEAN SPIRITED AND DEVISIVE rhetoric then MS Powers.

    MAKE THE CHANGE YOU PROMISED.

    November 29, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Daniel Wagle

    Let bygones be bygones. Powers stated what she stated in the heat of the campaign and Hillary stated what she did about sniper fire in the exhaustion of her own campaign. Both Powers and Hillary will be valuable members of the new administration.

    November 29, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. catmom

    And, a lot of these comments are probably coming from people who think Sarah Palin is intelligent enough to run the country. Will you people stop whining about what Obama is doing. How about you ask Bush to accept responsibility for what he has done to this country since you all want to find something, anything to complain about.

    November 29, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Sharon - Irondale, Alabama

    The primary is over. That was in the past. Time to get down to serious business with brilliant serious-minded people.

    November 29, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Texas Teacher

    Wanderer, I, for one, am sick of Politics as usual! Barack Obama ran a different kind of campaign than the status quo. And it probably got him elected! He has proven that you NOT have to attack, lie, and defame your opposition to win an election!

    I can see where this new kind of President is going to be hard for some of you status quo folks to follow until you get used to him! I say, buckle your seat belts and get ready for the ride!

    You lost..... Seriously.... GET OVER IT! :)

    November 29, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Is the Obama transition team still playing high school games?

    How petty and small of them to bring this woman back when they seemed to have risen above such child's play.

    Hillary Clinton is still better than Barack Obama and all the tiny little men and women that are working for him.

    I hope she becomes Secretary of State, we need some grown-ups in the government.

    November 29, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Gonzo in Houston

    Hillary is not as thin-skinned as some of her supporters. If Powers keeps her foot out of her mouth, works her tail off and gets results, all will be forgiven and Powers will have a useful spot in the administration.

    If Obama can accept Hillary in his cabinet, Hillary can accept Powers on the transition team.

    November 29, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. RufusVonDufus

    It won't be long before the Rev. Wright is back on Obama's team as the person in charge of being critical of the U.S.A.

    November 29, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. celine

    Powers' excuse was that she was too drunk–on obama koolaid...

    Clinton is the best choice the newbie will be making. Funny, how he dismissed her experience when he was running, and now he will have to depend on it and her star power around the world...

    November 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Democrat in ARIZONA

    Well that was nothing compared to how Hillary threw the kitchen sink at Obama. Sam power is I am sure a hard worker and definitly needed. Welcome back Ms. Power.

    November 29, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Texas Teacher

    Lizbobb............. Powers is NOTHING compared to Palin when it comes to UNDIPLOMATIC.... or even CLOSE when it comes to LACK of intelligence! She may have errored in her judgement with the comment, but after listening to the attacks from all sides on Obama... perhaps she did misspeak from pure disgust!

    But there is NO DOUBT that she does NOT hold a candle to the Republican/McCain/Palin's long term viciousness that has still be unrefuted by that camp!

    Get over it.... Seriously! YOU LOST.... suck it up! :)

    November 29, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. Antonio Beasley from Kentucky

    I am an Obama supporter, but I can't wait to see how this works. lol, it could be made for TV material. But, no matter what, the bottom line is she is part of the transition team. Hillary will be the head of her Secretary of State Dept. She may not allow Ms. Powers to be on her staff after the transition. And if she does, no matter what, she will be the boss.

    November 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. robert

    its called forgiveness should bill richardson hate carville for a statement methinks no. should obama not heed advice from bush despite the bashing... should blacks hate bill clinton... no no there is something called forgiveness. sara palin can work in an obama administration its called forgiveness folks...

    November 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. John Foff

    I think you have completely missed the boat on this one. What about her comments on ow Obama will not rely on campaign promises to determine his Foriegn policy when it comes to Iraq and the withdrawal of troops? It is amazing that Obama was portrayed as a candidate of change, yet we are seeing time and again that what he said is not what he is going to do. He is following the same policies that Clinton and McCain said on the campaign trail, and not the ones he was saying. The media really did an unjustice to the US people in there drive for the President they wanted. Imagine if McCain won and he hired Phil Gramm to head his economic team, how hard would you be trying to rip apart McCain's credibility. Instead of going after the real issue here you have left the door open for a great photo op where Clinton can say she is forgives Powers for her comments and that campaigns can be ugly at moments and people can misspeak.

    November 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Barbara

    Why would they bring this person back? Is the change we want?

    November 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Simmy

    Redeemed! She should never have left! Blessings to you!

    November 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. johnrj08

    This is disappointing to read. This kind of remark is no better than what Palin said during the campaign. Just ugly, divisive rhetoric, that doesn't even qualify as legitimate criticism. She shouldn't have been allowed back on the transition team, no matter how "smart" she may be. I'm no fan of Hilliary, but now is no time for this kind of petty crap.

    November 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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