What Did Samantha do Wrong?

16Jul08

If Barack’s new Iraq policy proposal is not new, why did Samantha Power get fired a few months ago, at least in part, for describing his old policy in a way that sounds alot like Barack’s speech Tuesday morning?

Let’s revisit the controversy with Sam Stein of the Huffington Post:

Former Obama aide Samantha Power may be repentant for calling Sen. Hillary Clinton a political monster, but on the other issue that marked her resignation, she is not conceding an inch.

Speaking at the Columbia University School of Law on Tuesday night, Power labeled herself “amazed” that Clinton had tried to get so much “political mileage” from comments Power made, in which she suggested that the next commander-in-chief would consider conditions on the ground when implementing his or her Iraq withdrawal plan.

“What I was saying is that you have to take into account what the generals on the ground are telling you,” Power told the room of several hundred undergraduate and graduate students.

This caused a huge controversy, as Barack’s advisor was saying that Barack’s Iraq policy, crafted to outflank Hillary on the left, was a lie. Here’s another Stein analysis from March that demonstrates just how important the Iraq policy distinction, that Barack works so hard now to confuse and misrepresent, was in the fight for the nomination.

Ever since former aide Samantha Power admitted to the BBC that Sen. Barack Obama’s Iraq withdrawal plan could change depending on conditions on the ground, the Clinton campaign has been unrelenting in its criticism.

“Out campaigning Senator Obama tells voters that as president he’d withdraw combat brigades from Iraq within 16 months, but one of his top foreign policy advisers told a different story,” Sen. Clinton herself declared in a speech today.

Stein describes a conference call between Hillary advisers and the media in which reporters struggle to get it clear – is Hillary really as adamant about withdrawal without regard for reality as Barack is? This was a huge leap for Hillary to take – to change her policy into something that she knew was completely ridiculous. But to win the nomination… would she do it?

Yes or no, would Clinton stick to the withdrawal plan she has outlined even if the security situation in Iraq were to fall apart?

Finally, the campaign’s spokesperson stepped in.

“This is Howard Wolfson,” he said. “You asked for a one-word answer and the answer is yes.”

It seems clear that Barack views the war in Iraq as of little consequence – just another political issue to manipulate in order to satisfy his blind ambition. And he was able to use it to prove Hillary no better. There’s the new kinda politics for you.

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