In its final vote before the August recess, the Senate confirmed Samantha Power to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Thursday afternoon.
The Senate voted 87-10 to confirm Power as ambassador to the U.N. President Obama nominated Power in June to replace Susan Rice, who took over as his national security adviser.
Power worked on the president’s 2008 campaign and served as a foreign policy adviser. She started her career as a journalist and won a Pulitzer Prize for her 2002 book, “A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.”
Learning of her confirmation, President Obama said he was pleased with the “strong, bipartisan majority” that voted in favor of Powers. “As a long-time champion of human rights and dignity, she will be a fierce advocate for universal rights, fundamental freedoms and U.S. national interests,” he added.
While Power was confirmed by a strong majority, she is a controversial figure. Power faced resistance from pro-Israel groups over a 2002 statement she made calling for a “mammoth protection force” to prevent violence between Israel and Palestine in the hypothetical creation of a Palestinian state. During her confirmation hearing in June, she backed away from the comment, calling it “remarkably incoherent.”
In 2008, Power resigned from Obama’s presidential campaign after she called his then-opponent Hillary Clinton a “monster.”
Power’s confirmation capped off a productive week for the Senate, which confirmed eight of the president’s executive nominees. James Comey was confirmed as director of the F.B.I on Monday, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives got its first director in seven years when the Senate confirmed Todd Jones on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed five nominees for the National Labor Relations Board.