Samantha Power, a foreign policy adviser for Barack Obama, was in town Friday. Here’s highlights from my notes:

On South Carolina’s primary power:

• “We’re obsessed with South Carolina. So much will turn on what happens here.”

On following President Bush:

• It’ll be important not just to not do what Bush did or to undo what Bush did, but to actually do something proactive.

• We’ve lost power, legitimacy, competence in the last seven years. (Erosion of military readiness, questions on torture and American intentions, we have neglected U.N.)

On the experience argument:

• “The more you see him, the more those doubts about a first term senator and him being young melt away.”

• Obama is “unimplicated” in this administrations foreign policy transgressions. Ubeholden to special interests or conventional thinking is a valuable form of experience.

Trap for progressives:

• “The lesson for a lot of people is “look what happens when you try to help others. You get a quagmire. … Among progressives there’s a temptation to come home.”

• One battle will be to unify Americans on issues of global aid, torture, etc. Obama’s “got to take on Jack Bauer.”

Closing argument: Hillary’s fine, but “I think Obama would be an outstanding president and a necessary president at this time.”

We’ll have a foreign policy story in this week’s City Paper looking at the two Democratic front-runners’ foreign policy plans that scratches at the surface. Here are two links to Barack’s foreign policy plans and ending the war in Iraq. Here’s an interview from a few weeks ago following a foreign policy forum.

We talked to Hillary adviser Richard Holbrooke last week. Updated with a Hillary YouTube.