The Washington Post

Foreign policy aide Samantha Power leaving administration

Samantha Power (Charles Dharapak/AP)

(That may be the first time we’ve ever written that phrase where it actually happens to be true. She’s got two little kids at home; one is three, the other 8 months.)

Power, now senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights at the National Security Council and a former war correspondent, is a professor, human rights expert and author of the widely acclaimed book — “A Problem from Hell,” which accused the United States of ignoring genocide in the Balkans.

She had been the number one pick for the U.N. slot if incumbent Susan Rice had become secretary of state.

That didn’t happen, of course. But with deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough moving down the hall to be White House chief of staff, it’s hard to figure anyone but Rice becoming National Security Adviser if, as expected, that slot opens up with incumbent Tom Donilon leaving perhaps later on this year.

So maybe if the U.N. job opens up at some point, Power may well come back off the bench. (Or she could get an undersecretaryship at State.)

On the other hand, current deputy secretary of state Bill Burns, among others, might be eyeing that job.

On the other, other hand, hard to see Secretary of State John Kerry letting the uber-competent Burns leave Foggy Bottom.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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