August 14, 2014

Thursday Hillary Bash - The Weight of Her Words

John Podhoretz sums up the implications of Hillary Clinton hitting Obama, and hitting hard. Secretaries of State, sitting or gone, do not hit their president like she has. The weight of her words are actually pretty stark:
"Hillary Clinton is the most popular politician in America now...And she has decided, for all intents and purposes, to go into opposition.

That was the meaning of the extraordinary interview she granted Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic over the weekend. It was the annunciation of her separation from you and your legacy...

The key sentence is this: “Great nations need organizing principles,” Hillary told Goldberg, “and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
She distances herself from the bad decisions or Syria and Israel pretty forcefully in the interview. She is going on offense against Obama because his job approval in the area of foreign policy has become abysmal. She sees this as an opportunity to hammer a lame duck, with no possibility of any serious blowback. She sees it as an opportunity to elevate her own foreign policy credibility. She sees it as an opportunity to subtly provide an I-told-you-so to 2008 voters about her 3 a.m. call message in the primaries. She is elevating herself at the expense of president Obama at a time when he is down. There is blood in the water and make no mistake, she is a shark. This is an opportunity for her, and not an opportunity to stir up controversy and sell more books (though that may happen to some modest degree), it is an opportunity only because she fully intends to run for the presidency in 2016. If she weren't she would demur on the tough questions. While she might not praise the president for areas in which they disagree, she would at least have the decency to avoid criticism and ride off into the sunset as a not bitter woman.

Nope. Podhoretz theorizes, and rightly I believe:
Last year, when it looked like Obama might maintain his popularity, Hillary was ready to run as his confidant, adviser and friend.

Now, as the world comes crashing down upon him, along with his poll numbers and the increasingly disastrous prospects for his party in the November midterms, Mrs. Clinton has laid a bet.

She is betting she has two years to set herself up not as Obama’s natural successor but as his sadder-but-wiser replacement — the one who saw it go wrong, the one who watched as the mistakes were being made, the one who sought to mitigate or reverse those blunders to no effect, the one best able to take inspiration from a more successful, more centrist Democratic presidency.
The only thing wrong with that is that she's not really a centrist. But hey, what the voters think, is far more important than the truth. That's Clinton 101.

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