Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Clinton, Obama attending Martha’s Vineyard party amid 2016 positioning

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — President Barack Obama will spend a bit of his summer vacation with Hillary Rodham Clinton, a get-together that comes amid signs that the former secretary of state is seeking to distance herself from Obama’s foreign policy ahead of a possible 2016 White House bid.

The White House said the president, along with first lady Michelle Obama, planned to see Clinton Wednesday at a party on Martha’s Vineyard for Ann Jordan, wife of Democratic adviser Vernon Jordan. Clinton is on the Massachusetts island for a memoir-signing session at a bookstore, while the Obamas are in the midst of a two-week vacation.

It was unclear whether former President Bill Clinton also planned to attend the party.

In an interview published last weekend, the former secretary of state drew the sharpest distinctions yet from Obama in a rebuke of his cautious approach to global crises. “Great nations need organizing principles, and `don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Clinton said in a weekend magazine interview, referring to a version of the phrase Obama and his advisers have used privately to describe his approach to foreign policy.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets a customer during a book signing of her new book “Hard Choices” at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. July 29. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Asked for her organizing principle, she replied: “Peace, progress and prosperity. This worked for a very long time.”

Clinton wrapped her critiques in expressions of respect for the president and sympathy for the tough global decisions he grapples with from the Oval Office. On Monday, a vacation day for Obama, he dealt with issues involving Iraq, Ukraine, Gaza, Syria, as well as terrorism and Ebola in Africa.

“He’s thoughtful, he’s incredibly smart, and able to analyze a lot of different factors that are all moving at the same time,” she said. “I think he is cautious because he knows what he inherited, both the two wars and the economic front, and he has expended a lot of capital and energy trying to pull us out of the hole we’re in.”

In a wide-ranging interview published on The Atlantic’s website, Clinton offered an uncompromising defense of Israel’s battle against Hamas in Gaza and argued against Obama’s decision not to build up a rebel fighting force to confront Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Clinton previously described her advocacy for the Syrian rebellion in “Hard Choices,” her memoir about her time leading the State Department. Obama has said supporting the rebels would not have stopped al-Qaida-inspired groups from rampaging across Syria and inside Iraq today.

Clinton and then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reportedly argued for arming the rebels who first stood up to Assad three years ago. Since then, the question of “arming the rebels” has become more complicated, as fighters linked to al-Qaida and other fundamentalist Islamist groups have joined the rebellion.

She told The Atlantic she can’t say definitively that her recommendations as secretary of state would have made a difference, but “the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”

The White House declined to respond to Clinton’s comments, but said her team gave them a heads-up before the interview was published.

Clinton, who lost to Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, has not said definitively whether she will run in 2016. But her decision to sit down for an in-depth interview about her foreign policy vision and to distinguish herself from the unpopular incumbent for whom she worked is the latest signal she’s seriously preparing for a bid.

Republicans say she won’t be able to escape that she carried out Obama’s foreign policy for his first term without public complaint. “Hillary Clinton spent four years executing Barack Obama’s foreign policy, and in year five of Obama’s term it’s ridiculous for Hillary to try to swindle voters into thinking what’s happening around the world isn’t a product of Obama-Hillary diplomacy,” Republican National Committee spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski said in response to Clinton’s interview.

 

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!