Samantha Power’s back….


After all my prattling last week about Obama’s pro-Israel national security team, he goes and names Samantha Power to an agency review team.

(Not that I would classify Power, a respected genocide scholar, as "anti-Israel." But she has an unfortunate tendency to speak before getting all the facts in – witness her 2002 blathering about Jenin and war crimes. Which is what spooks pro-Israel groups.)


The team with the pro-Israel names shapes policy; the team Power belongs to merely shepherds the secretary of state nominee through Senate confirmation.

Still, so much is interesting about this: Power was sacked from the Obama campaign for running off at the mouth, but not about Israel – about Hillary Rodham Clinton, the nominee whose case she is now supposed to be making. (Power called Clinton a "monster" when Obama and Clinton were rivals during the primaries.)

And the Senate has a tradition of confirming its own – Clinton is the junior senator from New York. That may be why State’s review team is relatively small (14 compared to 25 at Treasury). Also on the team is Lee Feinstein, a Clinton administration State Department figure who has close pro-Israel ties.

So what does this mean? Is Obama dissing Clinton by making Power one of her escorts? Or is he dissing Power by dumping her onto a superfluous team? Or both?

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