The senator who led the charge to block UN Ambassador Susan Rice from filling the role of secretary of State has no problem with the person President Obama selected to fill Rice’s role.
As expected, Rice was picked to become Obama’s next national security adviser, replacing Tom Donilon who will retire in July.
Moving into Rice’s role at the world body with a sad track record of preventing atrocities will be the first leader of Obama’s Atrocities Prevention Board created in 2012, Samantha Power.
Power called Hillary Clinton a “monster” during the 2008 campaign and had to step down from Obama’s team then, only to rejoin his transition team after his victory. Since then, she’s moved through positions at the State Department and National Security Council.
When she left her role as a special assistant to Obama this February, the White House said it was so Power could spend more time with her two small kids. She is married to Obama’s former regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein; they met working on Obama’s first presidential campaign.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) today called Power “a solid choice” to lead the U.S. delegation at the United Nations.
“She has the background, intellect, and toughness to fill this important diplomatic post at a time of great conflict and rising danger throughout the world,” Graham said.
“As United Nations Ambassador, she will aggressively represent the United States interests in an increasingly hostile body. She will also be a strong supporter of our close friend and ally Israel,” he added. “I hope the Senate will expeditiously consider her nomination.”
Although the Power nomination doesn’t come without controversy, there seems to be little will to try to hold up the nomination.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was asked yesterday on CNN if the GOP might try to block Power in order to wrest answers about Benghazi out of Rice.
“I want to hold her and the other people within the administration — I want to hold them accountable so they will reveal the truth and make sure this never happens again,” Chaffetz said. “It’s not a personal vendetta against her. The president can select whoever he wants.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said at the Brookings Institution that he has “some hopes” for Power.
But House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) made clear that there will be opposition to Power, and not linked to Rice.
“I think Mrs. Power, the opposition will stand on its own in terms of her — you know, you want an U.N. ambassador that’s going to advocate for the United States, not apologize for the United States,” McCaul said on CNN.
“She’s compared our recent American foreign policy to that — those of the Nazis. This is a horrible rhetoric. And it’s not the kind of messenger I want to be sent to the United Nations to speak on behalf of the United States. So we have some serious problems with this nomination.”