With Susan Rice moving from the UN to the West Wing, the game of musical chairs needed another player, and it didn’t take long for Barack Obama to pick another insider to fill Rice’s seat. Longtime adviser Samantha Power will replace Rice, but unlike the first move today, Power will have to face a Senate confirmation hearing, and that may prove turbulent:
RT @PeterAlexander: WH official tells me President will nominate Samantha Power to replace Susan Rice as US ambassador to the UN.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 5, 2013
BREAKING: AP source says Obama to name former aide Samantha Power as US ambassador to UN, replacing Rice.
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 5, 2013
JUST IN: White House confirms to CBS News that Samantha Power, a former National Security Council staffer, to replace Rice as UN ambassador
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 5, 2013
It’s a good thing that Hillary Clinton has retired as Secretary of State. Power had to leave the first Obama presidential campaign after calling Hillary “a monster,” and that may have made for some awkward moments around the Foggy Bottom water cooler.
That’s not going to make much difference now, especially with a lot of open questions that will now arise during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing. Power spent the first Obama term on his National Security Council, where she was a prime mover in the decision to intervene in Libya. Since the White House never bothered to seek Congressional approval for that war, this will give those still angry over the violation of the War Powers Act (and Constitution) an opportunity to settle some scores. Also, the actual outcome of that intervention — a failed state, the destruction of our Benghazi assets, and the invasion of Mali by suddenly-free radical Islamist terror networks — we can expect to get a lot of questions about the kind of advice Power actually gave the White House.
However, a bigger problem than that will be Israel. In 2002, Power told a Berkeley interviewer that she would advise a President to put together a “massive” Western military coalition to occupy Israel and the Palestinian territories in order to impose “a solution on unwilling parties.” On top of that, she told Harry Kreisler that this should be done even though it “might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import.” That would be the Jews in America, in case the subtlety didn’t come across:
Obama keeps insisting that he’s a pro-Israel president. Why, then, would he send Power to a body that spends an inordinate amount of its time — especially in the laughable Human Rights Council — obsessing about Israel’s supposed crimes? This might well turn into one of the most uncomfortable confirmation hearings Obama will experience.