POLITICS: Campaigns

Hillary Clinton's foreign policy paradox

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Philip Klein,Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton,2016 Elections,Campaigns,State Department,Foreign Policy

Hillary Clinton faces a paradox when it comes to articulating a foreign policy message.

As I noted in a previous post, Clinton is trying to strike a balance — she wants to distance herself from President Obama on foreign policy in areas in which he's viewed as a failure, but she wants to preserve the veneer of experience that comes with having served as his Secretary of State.

The problem she's going to run into is that it's easy to see how these two goals could conflict with one another.

To the extent that Clinton touts her vast experience as Obama's Secretary of State, it becomes more difficult to separate herself from the administration's foreign policy.

But the more she tries to argue that she recommended a different policy approach than the one that was actually pursued, the more she comes across looking like a figurehead who had no real influence within the administration — thus undermining her "experience" argument.

This tension isn't likely to matter for her immediately, but over the course of a long campaign, it could become problematic.

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