Hillary Clinton is taking on President Barack Obama using the same issue he beat her up with in their 2008 Democratic primary: foreign policy vision.
Obama lacks a specific doctrine, according to an Atlantic magazine interview with Clinton, the unannounced presidential candidate who is leading Democrats and Republicans in 2016 polling.
“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Clinton told the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, also a Bloomberg View columnist, in reference to the way Obama and his aides describe his approach to foreign policy.
Clinton’s effort to show differences with Obama, which began with the release of her book in June, reflects a new political reality. The hard-line policies that hurt her with a war-weary Democratic base in 2008 aren’t as significant now that polls show that the party is unified behind her.
It also has become necessary for Clinton, Obama’s first secretary of state, to draw contrasts with Obama as his approval ratings have cratered.
The comments are a reversal from Clinton’s 2008 Senate confirmation testimony, in which she embraced as her own an Obama vision that was conspicuously lacking specific principles.