Samantha Power, a foreign policy adviser for Barack Obama, was in town Friday. Here's highlights from my notes:
On South Carolina's primary power:
• "We're obsessed with South Carolina. So much will turn on what happens here."
On following President Bush:
• It'll be important not just to not do what Bush did or to undo what Bush did, but to actually do something proactive.
• We've lost power, legitimacy, competence in the last seven years. (Erosion of military readiness, questions on torture and American intentions, we have neglected U.N.)
On the experience argument:
• "The more you see him, the more those doubts about a first term senator and him being young melt away."
• Obama is "unimplicated" in this administrations foreign policy transgressions. Ubeholden to special interests or conventional thinking is a valuable form of experience.
Trap for progressives:
• "The lesson for a lot of people is "look what happens when you try to help others. You get a quagmire. … Among progressives there's a temptation to come home."
• One battle will be to unify Americans on issues of global aid, torture, etc. Obama's "got to take on Jack Bauer."
Closing argument: Hillary's fine, but "I think Obama would be an outstanding president and a necessary president at this time."
We'll have a foreign policy story in this week's City Paper looking at the two Democratic front-runners' foreign policy plans that scratches at the surface. Here are two links to Barack's foreign policy plans and ending the war in Iraq. Here's an interview from a few weeks ago following a foreign policy forum.
We talked to Hillary adviser Richard Holbrooke last week. Updated with a Hillary YouTube.