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Opinion: Key Barack Obama advisor calls Hillary Clinton a ‘monster’

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Samantha Power, a Barack Obama foreign policy advisor and Harvard professor who helped focus the world’s attention on genocide, apparently has a little trouble with personal diplomacy. In an interview with the Scotsman published today, Power described Hillary Clinton as a ‘monster’ and used an expletive to describe the Obama campaign’s losing effort in Ohio -- comments for which she is already apologizing.

The money quote: ‘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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And: ‘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.’

Imagine the meeting this morning among the Obama communications advisors. Power, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, already has drawn lightning over her views on the Mideast, though she has picked up some defenders too.

And there will probably be some chatter this morning about Power’s saying that the ‘monster’ comment was off the record. But Power should know better. Off-the-record status is something agreed to between interviewer and interviewee, not something decreed by the person being interviewed because he or she uttered something problematic.

And in this case, Power’s ‘frankness’ might not rise to the level of Obama’s ‘problem from hell,’ but it’s not exactly the kind of distraction the campaign needs at this point.

-- Scott Martelle


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