Oh, the joys of high office: going drinking with Shmuley Boteach

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Samantha Power’s climbdown from an enlightened stance on Israel/Palestine to a forcibly benighted one is a sad thing to see, but it is really about the character of the Establishment. If you aspire to higher office, you have to kiss the lobby’s ring. Ask Chuck Hagel. Ask Barack Obama. They both said enlightened things about Israel and Palestine that they had to crawl back from.

For all those who aspire to high position, another warning. It’s not all that much fun. Samantha Power is now joined at the hip to Shmuley Boteach, an orthodox rabbi, friend of Sheldon Adelson, and rightwing Republican loser in a NJ congressional race whom Power assiduously courted to get her Israel cred up, and Obama’s too, even though Adelson did all he could to defeat Obama.

Boteach has nine children and is a relentless self-promoter, i.e., he’s a crashing bore, and he was at Power’s side for her confirmation hearing yesterday. Indira A. Lakshmanan reports at Bloomberg:

Among Power’s invited guests in the hearing room was Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a writer and radio host who two years ago criticized Power’s views on Israel. Power — whose husband, Harvard University legal scholar and Bloomberg View columnist Cass Sunstein, is Jewish — invited Boteach to the White House to explain her views and won him over. Boteach has spoken on her behalf to members of the Jewish community.

After the hearing, Boteach accompanied Power, her Irish-born parents and a small group of family, friends and administration officials to celebrate at The Dubliner, an Irish pub on Capitol Hill.

Also: Two weeks ago I did a post saying that Power’s views on Syrian intervention were calculated to please the neoconservatives. Bloomberg again:

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who last year was among the lawmakers who blocked then-UN envoy Susan Rice from being nominated as secretary of state, praised Power’s statements on Syria and her view that the U.S. should act to stop humanitarian crises and genocide.

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