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Monstergate

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Heilemann: Can Obama Handle the Awakened Media Beast?

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So what to make of Monstergate? On the surface, the campaign controversy du jour could hardly be a more straightforward story. A few days ago, Samantha Power, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author and Harvard scholar who served until a few hours ago as one of Barack Obama's top foreign-policy advisers, was quoted by the Edinburgh-based daily The Scotsman heaping scorn on Hillary Clinton: "She's a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything … You just look at her and think, 'Ergh.'" This morning, as word of the incendiary indiscretion spread (the story led the Today show) and the fever mounted, a number of congressional Clinton backers demanded that Power resign from the campaign. "It's really a test for Obama," said Representative Nita Lowey of New York, and she was right. For months now, Obama has vowed to fire anyone on his staff who "is involved in trying to tear people down personally,” as he put it in December. So Power's exit late this morning was, in a sense, inevitable.