Obama adviser once critical of Clinton is back

WASHINGTON – An adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign who was forced to resign earlier this year after calling Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a "monster" is now working on the transition team for the agency Clinton is expected to lead.

State Department officials said Friday that Samantha Power is among a group of foreign policy experts that the president-elect's office selected to help the incoming administration prepare for Clinton's anticipated nomination as secretary of state. The Obama transition team's Web site includes Power's name as one of 14 members of the "Agency Review Team" for the State Department.

Clinton's role at State is expected to be announced after the Thanksgiving weekend. Power's apparent rehabilitation is another sign of that impending move.

Clinton's office declined to comment on Power's inclusion in the State Department transition, but an official close to the Obama transition team said Power had "made a gesture to bury the hatchet" with Clinton and that it had been well-received.

Power has been given an official State Department e-mail address and has been seen in the building, said the State officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the transition. A State Department spokesman referred questions to Obama's transition team, which later declined to comment.

Power, a Harvard professor, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and noted commentator on genocide, is dealing with global humanitarian issues as part of the team, according to the officials. It is not clear if she is in line for any State Department job, they said.

Power made headlines in March during the height of the fierce fight for the Democratic presidential nomination when she called Clinton "a monster" in an interview with a Scottish newspaper, setting off angry exchanges about the tenor of the campaign.

Power told the Scotsman newspaper that Clinton would stop at nothing to defeat Obama. "She is a monster, too," Power said in the interview. "She is stooping to anything." Power added that "the amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive."

A few hours after her comments were published, Power announced her resignation, saying the remarks were inexcusable and contradictory to her admiration for Clinton.

At the time, Power said that Obama had rebuked her for the comment and "made it absolutely clear that we just couldn't make comments like this in his campaign."

Clinton's campaign seized on the remark, sending an e-mail to supporters telling them about the "monster" comment and asking for contributions to "show the Obama campaign that there is a price to this kind of attack politics."


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