UN Ambassador Samantha Power and Attorney General Loretta Lynch are among the most high-profile appointees in the Obama administration. This, in addition to the posts they hold, means they are among the most powerful women in American politics.
Which makes it especially disturbing when their fealty to the president compromises their judgement – and their independence.
By remaining in her post for the last three years, Ambassador Power has been precluded from doing the kind of work for which she previously was best known: railing against those who stand by and do nothing (or close to it) in the face of political murder and mayhem, as in the case of the war in Syria.
Though the analogy is weak, Attorney General Lynch nevertheless resembles Power in that she too caved in to what she believed, for whatever reason, her boss would want her to do – meet off the record with former President Bill Clinton who, you might know, is the husband of Hillary Clinton who, you might know, is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States who, you might know, is under federal investigation for using a personal e mail account while Secretary of State.
Unfair it may be that female leaders be held to higher standards of personal and public probity than male leaders. But so long as there are so few women in positions of power, authority, and influence, that’s the way it is. Put directly, those few women who make it to the top have a special responsibility to live up to their own highest ideals.