Barack Obama is not another politician beholden to special interests but a leader who can restore faith in America at home and abroad, the senior policy adviser for his presidential campaign said Friday.

"We have got to become the country that put a man on the moon again, not the country of (Hurricane) Katrina and Iraq," said Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Samantha Power.

Power, speaking at the College of Charleston, underscored the importance of the South Carolina Democratic primary Jan. 26 for Obama's campaign to garner his party's nomination. "So much will turn on what happens here," she said.

In recent polls, Obama is locked in a virtual dead heat with Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

"I happen to think she is terrific and would be a perfectly fine president. I just think Obama would be an outstanding president," she said.

Obama, the son of a white American mother and black Kenyan father, brings diversity to the presidential race, she said, noting that he is a Harvard-trained constitutional lawyer who has lived in the inner city and understands the problems of the working poor. She said Obama has "tremendous credibility" that cuts across race and economic class, giving him the power to unite people.

Obama would emphasize "rehabilitation of American confidence" domestically and overseas. America needs less isolationism and more emphasis on common security and humanity, she said.

About 30 people attended the address at Alumni Hall.