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Opinion: Such an in-teresting monster, my stars!

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Samantha Power’s ‘monster’ gaffe probably won’t turn Barack Obama’s primary setback into a full retreat, but it’s still great fun. Read the full quotation, with the Pulitzer winner’s attempt at an instant backpedal:

‘We f***** up in Ohio,’ she admitted. ‘In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio’s the only place they can win. ‘She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything,’ Ms Power said, hastily trying to withdraw her remark. Ms Power said of the Clinton campaign: ‘Here, it looks like desperation. I hope it looks like desperation there, too. ‘You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh’. But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.’

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You can practically hear the wrong-buzzer ‘EEEHHHH!’ sound coming from the interviewer for The Scotsman (which by the way is my second-favorite name for a newspaper, after The Hindu), who not only declined to grant the request to keep the comment off the record but made it the lead and headline of the story. Well played!

Power has written for the Op-Ed page periodically. Here’s her piece ‘How to stop genocide in Iraq,’ from a year ago. Another piece, ‘Democrats: Get Loud, Get Angry!’ cowritten with Morton Abramowitz, has been disappeared from our site but you can still check it out at Common Dreams.

I take a more liberal view of what sorts of language are haram and halal than many of my colleagues, so it’s probably not a surprise that I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Why shouldn’t you be allowed to call your opponent a monster in a no-holds-barred political campaign? It’s a completely generic put-down, falling far short of the intricate jibes that some parliamentary systems consider standard. Besides, as Bugs Bunny understood, monsters are the most interesting people.


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