Wow. So, last month, you’ll remember, Samantha Power resigned from her perch as an Obama foreign policy adviser shortly after telling a Scottish newspaper that she felt Hillary Clinton was “a monster—and that’s off the record.” The reporter thought otherwise, and published the remark.
So, with all her new free time, Power has been continuing a worldwide book tour to promote “Chasing the Flame,” her biography of Sergio de Vieira Mello, the martyred U.N. official. Next stop, Ottawa! So, naturally, she does a pre-appearance interview with the Ottawa Citizen.
Two minutes after wrapping up the conversation, she calls the reporter back to beg that an idle comment she made about North America being ruled by Obama and Michael Ignatieff—her old Harvard colleague now sitting as a Liberal member of Canadian parliament—be taken off the record. It seems she was concerned that the comment might be taken as an Obama-y view that Steven Harper, the conservative current Prime Minister, is less than ideal.
This second call is—whoops!—on the record, and her attempt to walk-it-back becomes the lede of the story.
It gets a little better. In the second call, Power (who as a semi-retired journalist, you would think might be more agile at this sort of thing) explains why she really wants it back—NAFTA-gate:
“To stir more controversy after all we went through with the Canadians on the ,” Ms. Power said, without finishing the sentence. “I just don’t want to do that.”Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.