Friday, March 07, 2008


Samantha Power resigns and the Clinton campaign is still on the attack? Is there no limit?

Retired NATO commander Wes Clark and former State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin attacked Samantha Power on a Clinton conference call just now, a fairly poignant moment because Power, in the past, has been their vocal ally.

Clark is a hero of Power's first book, A Problem from Hell, and she and Rubin both backed Clark for president in 2004.

Clark today called her words "disturbing" and suggested that Obama's stance boils down to "simply show[ing] up and say[ing], 'What's this all about?'" That approach would, he said, "leave us still at war."

Rubin blamed Obama for the mess, in particular for giving a senior foreign policy adviser -- he described her variously as a "guru" and a "svengali" with "unlimited access to the candidate -- free rein to tour the world talking about his policies in a field where words matter.

"He can't seem to run a foreign policy team the way it's supposed to run," he said, calling it "amateur hour on making foreign policy."

Spencer Ackerman says:

I'm guessing Clark is referring to some Power comments about potentially listening to the military about the pace of withdrawal. Wow, candor! Well, according to [Clinton advisor] Jack Keane, Hillary Clinton would not get the U.S. out of Iraq at all.


At this point, I'm not sure Jonathan Chait is right when he says this:

Clinton's justification for this strategy is that she needs to toughen up Obama for the general election....

[But] her attacks on Obama are not a fair proxy for what he'd endure in the general election.... in recent weeks the nightly newscasts have consisted of Clinton attacking Obama, McCain attacking Obama, and then Obama trying to defend himself and still get out his own message. If Obama's the nominee, he won't have a high-profile Democrat validating McCain's message every day.

Except she seems so hell-bent on crushing him at this point that I'm not sure about that anymore. At times I half-think that if Obama hangs on and wins the nomination, she's going to campaign for McCain. At the very least, I really fear she's going to find subtle ways to signal to the public that she thinks McCain would be a better president.

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