Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton has not yet said whether she will pursue the presidency. But for a candidate-in-waiting, she is clearly carving out a foreign policy distinct from the man she used to serve.
In the spring, President Obama articulated a philosophy for avoiding dangerous entanglements overseas that was modest in its ambitions and focused on avoiding mistakes. Don’t do stupid things, he said.
Now Clinton is offering a blunt retort to that approach, telling an interviewer, “Great nations need organizing principles — and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
The surprisingly direct critique, coming in an interview with the Atlantic, represents Clinton’s most forceful effort yet to distance herself from an unpopular administration ahead of her expected 2016 campaign. It also foreshadows the unusual political challenges facing Clinton as she accentuates her foreign policy credentials while trying to avoid blame for the nation’s defensive posture in an increasingly unstable world.
The White House declined to comment on Clinton’s remarks, which came as Iraq has plunged into political turmoil and the United States has launched airstrikes to aid Kurdish forces under siege by the Islamic State militant group.