But that’s a good thing. Samantha Power appeared on Radio 4’s Start the Week yesterday to promote her new book on Sergio Vieira de Mello, but was induced by the host, Andrew Marr, to speak briefly about the candidate she’s advising in his campaign for president, Barack Obama. This segment begins on the audio file at about 7:44.

Andrew Marr: As I mentioned right at the beginning you’re one of the advisers to Barack Obama. Fantastically interesting week, of course, for him—

Samantha Power: Nah.

Andrew Marr: —this is the week where Hillary fights on or quits. Interesting also in these campaign ads she’s using against him, suggesting that really, foreign policy is his big weakness. The phone’s ringing late at night, who do you want to pick it up, not Barack Obama. So what is—I mean, given that’s your job, responding to those kind of things, what kind of foreign policy president will he be?

Samantha Power: Well, he’s acutely conscious of the loss of US standing in the world, so that’s usually important, and the need to recover it in a hurry, so first acts will be closing Guantanamo, renouncing torture etc., and trying to embed ourselves again back in the international system. The fact that he’s unimplicated by association with the war in Iraq, he’s the only mainstream presidential candidate who opposed it from the start, when it was very politically costly for him, so I think he hopes that that gives him a little bit of a head start, but the main thing is, he looks at the map of the world with 21st-century goggles on. He doesn’t believe you can dust off policies from the 1990s, when the world was unipolar and the United States was the sole superpower. He recognizes that there is, there are now dueling sources of power in the international system—

Andrew Marr: A slightly humbler presidency, in that respect?

Samantha Power: I would imagine. He’s not a humble guy, exactly, about his own sensibilities and instincts, he has a wonderful sense of self, which means he’s not as vulnerable [as whom?] to focus-grouping his way to decisions, he’s very secure in himself, but he definitely understands that if you want to get out of the international system you have to give a little….

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