Friday, March 07, 2008

What kind of words warrant a resignation?

Word got out today that Samantha Power, a Harvard professor who has been volunteering as a foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama, has resigned.

The reason: everybody found out she called Hillary Clinton "a monster" in an interview.

This story raises a couple interesting questions. Power apparently told a reporter for a Scottish paper that her name-calling was off the record. Not everyone agrees with what that little phrase means, but in an interview, the reporter is calling the shots. The reporter may have treated the comment differently if Power were not part of an extremely wealthy, high-profile presidential campaign. But I would be willing to guess this wasn't her first interview.

I interview people all the time, and they like to throw the "off the record" lingo out. I can be understanding with someone who is not media savvy, but not politicians or their advisers. Then again, I may have chosen not to insert the comment because it was kind silly.

Apparently Obama -- or at least more if his campaign advisers -- thought Power's comment was a bad move. Granted, that is not a very nice or grown-up thing to say, but was it really that bad? Should she have quit her job? This is politics, right? I never knew there was anything particularly sweet and kind in this game.


Anonymous said...

this childlike bickering is like people lost in a world of self elation.. as if they think the world is suddenly tailored to suit their " pseudo political correctness"..

they will stick to any non specific things like glue..

they played the baby and toddler game nlast week with the scare tactic, about who's going to answer the phone.. that could have easily be turned into an advertisment for Brinks Home Security systems, vs, Well Fargo Home Security.. all they had to do is show a picture of.. one phone center answering a call and another answering the call differently..

they play the american people for "stupid".. but the true sad thing is .. people buy into it..

Anonymous said...

what ever gets free "face time" on the air waves is what .. goes over.. it's free advertisment.. for the sole sake of "keeping the name in the headlines for as cheap of cash outlay as possible..

there has never been anyone who loved the news media more than a Candidate for anything, if they get to have a few minutes to say something.. they know what kind of "spin" to put on it.. and get the best bang for the free air time..

and the people are silly enought to loose focus of the true issues that are at stake..

they have delivered the canned speeches now across the nation, from Primary location to the next.. they don't even need the teleprompter any longer.. and they have learned how to relax within their speech.. but what should matter to the Nation is the message, and the conviction and process they will engage their promises..

At this point in the History of this nation... it's all about being a person who can work across the aisles, and who is not a war monger, and not one who has a war mentality.. This war minded concept has sent this country into a depression with 9 trillion in debt, and 400+ billion deficit already slated for 2009, and we just got into the year 2009, so that tells us .. that we will be with a deficit for the next 3-4 years.. and we don't have any industry to work our way out of it.. we have nothing but what the world is finding out it can do without, and that's the "dollar".. it's causing countries to loose a lot of their wealth, and it's tied up in a stock market that is trading on illusion, because most of the stock now is, trading .. X times the value and revenue earning capability.. but the latest accounting is now saying the books are filled with rusting non usable inventory that has been carried as solid assets, but in truth it's scrap and other things that should be in a recycling yard..

if people look, they can see much, but they have to first care to open their eyes.. rather than just looking within their closed eye dreams, hoping things will go away..

Chair said...

To be truthful, I don't really know Power, but my impression is that she is trying to push thinking out of the grey zone on the real issues. Erudite thinkers must be judged not on sentences; rather on meaning and contribution. I sincerely hope that we have not lost her contribution and its potential.

Anonymous said...

I saw it's nothing more than free advertising. No she shouldn't have resigned from a voluntary position. I'm confused, was she a paid volunteer?
Anyway, it seems like candidates can get their dirty messages to one another, and their constituents, with a fall guy. Oh no, this person said something horrible, now you get fired or resigned. The words are out there, the media is eating it up, and it didn't cost a penny. In fact, if a person resigns I suppose it costs less for the campaign if they aren't replaced. It's genious but calculated. I'd be surprised to see another cycle of this soon. Surely this one is worn out.

Adam-I do have a request, write a blog about "keeping it off the record." Actually bring in all of you guys and discuss the ethics surrounding honoring or dishonoring that request. Is reporting fair game? It's up to the reporter, right? What do you guys, Link 222 bloggers, usually do?

Adam Kealoha Causey said...

Thanks for all the comments. To anonymous 2:52, I'll see what we can get together on that. If you don't see anything about it, shoot me an e-mail at

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