An interview with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton published in the Atlantic on Sunday is raising quite a few eyebrows for her embrace of a more hawkish foreign policy. Michael Brenden Dougherty is pretty sure she wants to be the third term of George W. Bush when she runs for president in 2016, which he considers a bad thing. CBS News, on the other hand, reports that conservatives are not buying it.
The interview contained a damning critique of Obama foreign policy, especially in regards to the current uprising in Iraq by ISIS, a barbarian army that chops the heads off of children, sells women into sexual bondage, and engages in ethnic cleansing and genocide. She faulted the Obama administration for failure to nurture a secular opposition in Syria, setting up a vacuum which ISIS filled, thus leading to the establishment of the caliphate and the rampage going on in Iraq.
Mind, it is pretty brassy of Ms. Clinton to slam her former boss for foreign policy failures which she had a hand in. Her embrace of a hard line, hawkish foreign policy is even bolder, considering that it places her to the right of most of the Democratic base. She is clearly gambling that she will not have any serious opposition in the primaries and therefore can go straight to the general election in which she can be more centrist.
She is also betting, quite rightly, that the international scene is going to be just as unsettled if not more so in 2016 as it is now. She is further betting that the American electorate will want Obama’s successor to be someone who will clean up his various messes. Certainly Republicans will be running with that job description in mind. Clinton wants to get to the front of that line.
The fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench, is the possibility that Clinton’s hawkish stance will spark a challenge on her left in the primaries. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Howard Dean, or some other candidate could run as the leader of the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” which means being an advocate of appeasement. In that case the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party will be entertaining to say that least.