Friday, March 7, 2008

The US Elections: The Monster Mash

What monster have we here?
A great Deed at this hour of day?
A great just Deed — and not for pay?
Absurd, —or insincere.

- Elizabeth Browning, A Tale of Villafrance

No sooner had I posted about Obama's small window of opportunity or it was shut, it seems, by Samantha Power, one of Obama's chief foreign policy aides.

Who's Power, and what did she do?

Well, she's a very bright, relatively young graduate of both Yale and Harvard. She's American, but was born in Ireland. And she knows a hell of a lot about foreign policy issues, including - but certainly not limited to - Darfur.

Unfortunately, she's also quite outspoken. And today, she resigned from the Obama campaign for making the following comment about Clinton to a reporter from The Scotsman:

"She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything."

Hmm. Testing the virulence of American politics via the backdoor of the British tabloid press? That is not a very sensible course of action.

So it's bye bye Power. Thanks for your Pulitzer-prize winning book A Problem From Hell. Thanks for having some pretty original ideas. Thanks for being honest. Bye bye. Have a nice day, now!

But where does that leave Obama? It's obvious my previous notion of him wading into the "lost" delegate fray in decisively presidential fashion has become somewhat obsolete (in my defense: I posted that hours ago). The only decisiveness he could show was in damage control.

But what's the damage?

I think quite a lot of people - and not just the Clinton bashers - will recognise something in what Power said. I also think quite a lot of them may take some note of it - it was, after all, an obviously heartfelt remark not at all meant for public consumption. It was a remark by someone in the know. And, too, it was a remark made by a woman. In the end, perhaps, there is some truth in the adage: it takes one to know one.

In short, if someone like Samantha Power feels this way about Clinton, the question arises: could she be right?

To hark back to the Browning quote: what Clinton have we here?

I truly don't know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're suggesting Clinton really is a monster? Like, say Grendel?
Hey, maybe she actually lives in a swamp and only becomes human during the day, hehe.