Samantha Power — a.k.a. Mrs. Cass Sunstein — may be expanding her influential role inside the Obama White House.
Since the New York Times ran an in-depth profile of Power ran last week, rumors have circulated she may step into a much more public role as the next secretary of state or national security advisor. Highlighting Powers’ Irish heritage, Irish Central predicts that Powers could fill the position of America’s top diplomat if President Obama secures a second term, with Hillary Clinton due to step down.
She has been the main architect, along with Hillary Clinton, of the Libya policy and has an increasing influence in the White House inner circle. No Irish-born person in recent history has had such influence on a president. Power, now 40, moved to the US from Ireland at age 10. …
Power, who is one of Obama’s key advisers on foreign policy, insisted that Libya was not going to be the main topic of conversation.
“I’m not going to talk much about Libya,” she said, as quoted in The Times. However, when later questioned she defended the administration’s decision in establishing a no-fly zone, adding failure to do so would have been “extremely chilling, deadly and indeed a stain on our collective conscience.”
Since she began her career working as a war correspondant in Bosnia at the tender age of 22, Power has believed that nations have a moral obligation to prevent genocide. She can bring life to these ideals from her position of the National Security Council.
“She is clearly the foremost voice for human rights within the White House,” Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, told the New York Times “and she has Obama’s ear.” […]
Some of her critics say that she could be pushing the U.S. into another Iraq. The conservative blog American Thinker says that Obama has “outsourced foreign policy” to the Dublin woman. She has also drawn the ire of the Israeli lobby for her pro-Palestinian positions.
Power attempts to keep a low profile after she described Hillary Rodham Clinton as “a monster” during the 2008 presidential election campaign. Her remarks saw her step down from her position as an advisor on Obama’s campaign. Since then, the women have reconciled.
Obama initially headhunted Power in 2005, after reading her book. After a long meeting, Power decided to take leave from her Harvard professorship to work for the then senator.
Her position in shaping Obama’s Libya policy has received much media scrutiny, including from Bloomberg which also noted her activist role.
Romeo Dallaire, the commander of UN forces in Rwanda during the genocide and now a Canadian senator, called Power “a force to reckon with.”
Power has seized her “opportunity to get inside the system and actually influence it,” he said.