July 20, 2005

Obama hires Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, Genocide Expert

Senator Barack Obama has hired Samantha Power the Pulitzer prize-winning author for A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide as an advisor for foreign affairs.
Sen. Barack Obama has snared a high-profile human-rights activist, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and lecturer from Harvard to join his Senate staff, advising him on issues of genocide and the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Samantha Power, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for "A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," is expected to become a foreign policy adviser to the Illinois Democrat, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"She has terrific expertise, like Darfur," Obama said. "It's a mutual interest on her part and my part."
With the hire of Samantha Power and his recent visit to the United Nations Senator Obama reveals he plans to take part in global debate on Sudan and on other foreign affair issues.
Freshman Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) visited the United Nations on Friday, taking his first steps to use his unique position -- the son of a Kenyan, the only African American in the Senate -- to pressure African countries and China to do more to stop the genocide in Sudan.

With the U.N. trip, Obama is opening a new phase of his Senate career.

After spending his first six months in the Senate focusing on domestic affairs, Obama will be turning more to the portfolio he holds as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Mark Leon Goldberg over at Tapped likes Senator Obama recent hires on this staff.
I, for one, am very excited about this new hire. The more power Power has, the more thoughtful America’s response to genocide and man-made humanitarian disasters in Africa and beyond will be. (Before the election, I secretly hoped that a Kerry administration would install her in Pierre-Richard Prosper's office.) Also, she’s no liberal hawk. Before March 2003, she had the wisdom to resist the liberal temptations served up by the Michael Ignatieff/Thomas Friedman crowd as she questioned the assumptions of the Iraq war.

Further, after snagging Karen Kornbluh -- the versatile economist and Washington wizard of progressive work and family policy -- this latest move tells me that Obama is determined to form the greatest policy team in the Senate.
The Democratic Party needs a clear voice on foreign affairs issues and especially on Sudan, I welcome Senator Obama increase role on this issues.


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