POLITICS

Can Hillary duck Taliban deal on campaign trail?

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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CAN HILLARY DUCK TALIBAN DEAL ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL?
President Obama
skirted the law and broke precedent to swap a captured American soldier for five “high risk” Islamist militants in U.S. custody. The deal with enemy forces in Afghanistan is a continuation of Obama’s effort to get all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan within two years. This is part of a new, more limited foreign policy approach that Team Obama refers to as “Don’t do stupid sh*t.” But some people think this sh*t is pretty stupid. The move is highly controversial, even aside from the legal questions of Obama again circumventing Congress. Former comrades of the freed American believe that he deserted the Army amid a difficult forward deployment, adding additional danger to their mission as they were dispatched to search for him. The soldier’s father further complicated things with his remarks with the president in the Rose Garden Saturday, in which he praised Allah and spoke Pashto, the language of the Taliban. So what does the person most likely to succeed Obama as president think about all of this?

[WSJ provides details about the prisoners from Guantanamo Bay who were released, while Reuters reports that Afghan officials have said the freed Islamist militants will definitely go back to the fight.]

Privileged conversations - Democratic 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton is campaigning today in Colorado, a swing state where she is struggling with voters. (The Clinton campaign commitment to Colorado will also extend to a three-day Denver event at the end of this month paid for by the corporate backers of her family’s foundation and featuring big names like NBC News’ David Gregory.) The Denver Post reports that today’s events will include stops to tout worker training programs at a plastics factory, meetings with local power brokers and a big speech in suburban Broomfield. Clinton scrubbed an event hosted by a chemical industry trade group amid protests from liberals about the group’s involvement in fracking, but she will still be spending a lot of time today campaigning in a key state. Will reporters find a way to press her on her view of the Taliban prisoner deal? Or the unraveling of Libya? Or new global warming regulations from the Obama Administration? Or fracking? Or anything? The big speech tonight is being co-sponsored by The Denver Post, so perhaps its reporters could find a way to get substantive answers. But one suspects that the Clinton strategy of using the trappings of celebrity to insulate the candidate from normal scrutiny will continue to be in force.

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