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Sun Nov 15, 2015, 12:52 PM

Hillary’s Greatest Weakness. She needs to put distance between herself and Obama.

By Jamelle Bouie

Everyone indulges it, but at this stage of the game, who won? and who lost? are the least interesting questions of the presidential debates. More useful is what did you learn? After all, that’s the point of debates—to learn about candidates as they address moderators, answer questions, and interact with each other. In the GOP debates, for example, no one has cared what Jeb Bush has to say about taxes, as long as he’s in the mainstream of the party. What actually matters is how he responds to pressure and provocation, and on both scores—in the debates, at least—he has failed.

On Saturday, Democrats held their second presidential debate, this time at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Hosted by CBS News and led by John Dickerson (also a Slate colleague of mine), the topics ranged from ISIS and the attacks in Paris to immigration reform and gun control. And watching the three-way fight between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin Malley, what did we learn?

Hillary Clinton is stuck when it comes to foreign policy. As a matter of strategy, Clinton won’t critique or criticize the Obama administration. At every turn, she praises President Obama and his accomplishments. And it makes sense—she wants to endear herself to rank-and-file Democrats, including black Americans, who strongly support the president. But there are places where Obama could have done better, or had the wrong judgment. To many observers, that includes the Middle East. We know Clinton has a critique of Obama’s policy toward the Middle East, especially with regards to ISIS—she says so in her book, Hard Choices.

And so during the debate Clinton struggled to defend Obama’s record on the Middle East, and his past stance toward ISIS in particular. “Won’t the legacy of this administration, which you were a part of, won’t that legacy be that it underestimated the threat from ISIS?” Dickerson asked. Clinton didn’t have an answer. Instead, she offered the audience what she would do as president, without reckoning with the choices she made—with Obama—while secretary of state. This approach continued even as the debate turned to other subjects. When faced with problems in the Affordable Care Act, for instance, Clinton can’t make a forthright critique. Instead, she has to praise the policy, praise Obama, and find some way to move forward. It’s tough and it’s tedious, and it’s an unneeded drag on Clinton’s candidacy; the kind of problem that could spawn new problems, if she can’t deal with it. Put differently, the easiest way for Clinton to escape the trap of the status quo is to break with Obama and put real distance between his administration, and her prospective one.

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http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/11/tough_debate_for_clinton_sanders_o_malley_has_strong_night.html

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This article makes me uncomfortable, because it's an issue that isn't being discussed much now, but will likely be a major issue in the GE if Hillary gets the nomination.

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Reply Hillary’s Greatest Weakness. She needs to put distance between herself and Obama. (Original post)
Dem2 Nov 2015 OP
cantbeserious Nov 2015 #1
BlueMTexpat Nov 2015 #13
cantbeserious Nov 2015 #15
BlueMTexpat Nov 2015 #17
cantbeserious Nov 2015 #19
upaloopa Nov 2015 #2
BlueMTexpat Nov 2015 #14
randys1 Nov 2015 #3
Dem2 Nov 2015 #4
randys1 Nov 2015 #5
Dem2 Nov 2015 #7
BainsBane Nov 2015 #6
randys1 Nov 2015 #8
BainsBane Nov 2015 #9
randys1 Nov 2015 #10
BainsBane Nov 2015 #12
leveymg Nov 2015 #20
MADem Nov 2015 #11
BlueMTexpat Nov 2015 #16
leftofcool Nov 2015 #18


Response to cantbeserious (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 03:05 PM

13. Don't you get tired of posting this same thread

everywhere?

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 03:06 PM

15. No

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #15)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 03:09 PM

17. Well, you now have the dubious

distinction of being added to my "Ignore" list.

Way to go.

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 03:15 PM

19. The Feeling Is Mutually Dubious Of Distinction

eom

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Response to Dem2 (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 12:58 PM

2. Supporting Obama is one of her strengths. I'm sure her opponents would like nothing better

than for Hillary to start attacking Obama, He will campaign for her as will his administration as will Bill Clinton.

That is one reason she has a wider base of support than Bernie has.

Thanks for the advice but no thanks

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 03:06 PM

14. My reaction too! eom

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Response to Dem2 (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:03 PM

3. Underestimated ISIS? What if that is true, would you have had him send TROOPS?

Since I and many others think the answer is to completely get the holy hell OUT of the ME, what would not underestimating them look like to you or whoever?

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Response to randys1 (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:06 PM

4. I agree with her prospective policies

My only concern is the ads the Republicans will run next fall.

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Response to Dem2 (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:07 PM

5. Good point, so the asshole cons have to be forced to say "Yes, I will send your son to die in Syria"

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Response to randys1 (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:12 PM

7. They will happily stir up their angry base into sending their own children to die.

Nobody ever said Republican voters had their own best interests at heart. It's an emotional thing with many on that side I think. I know actually - look at how they are responding to an idiot moron carnival barker and a compulsive liar.

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Response to Dem2 (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:08 PM

6. Not in the primary

that comes in the GE.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:16 PM

8. So what does not underestimating the murderers mean?

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Response to randys1 (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:19 PM

9. That's a reference to the Obama administration's public statements about 18 months ago

that downplayed ISIS, underestimating their strength, capacity to amass territory, and the threat they posed to the region and beyond.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:22 PM

10. I know but my fear is what will be proposed to respond to recent events.

Which candidate, if any, has the understanding that any and all reactions guarantee more of this.

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Response to randys1 (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:39 PM

12. Last night it sounded to me like both Sanders and O'Malley were

trying to out hawk Hillary. I thought she came off as more circumspect in regard to US military intervention against ISIS.

I don't think think that is a military conflict that can be avoided. They all said they would pursue it. The difference was in the role the US would play, whether leading or backup.

Clinton's point that the enemy is not radical Islam is an important one. Bernie is wrong that it doesn't matter. Clinton knows from her experience as a diplomat that the language we use in describing these situations is enormously important. She was clear the threat is from those who act violently, not the ideology/religion. The difference is crucial.

She also has a more informed and nuanced view of the situation. For example, Bernie's comment that the Mooselims (sorry, his pronunciation jumped out at me) aren't doing their part was a broad brushed statement that doesn't apply to every Muslim nation, as Clinton pointed out.

I do believe Bernie did better in talking about the Iraq War and the the destabilization that it created. While Clinton is right that there are a myriad of factors that led to the rise of ISIS, she underestimated our role.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 03:50 PM

20. That was Hillary's POV when she pressed for regime changes in Libya and Syria

Creating the opportunity for Jihadists to gain territory and a base og operations to spread terrorism.

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Response to Dem2 (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 01:28 PM

11. I disagree--and I get the impression that some of SLATE's writers would prefer a GOP POTUS.

They like coming at a subject from an oppositional POV.


There are a lot of people, minority voters, particularly, who regard Clinton as an extension in some fashion to the Obama administration. She was his Secretary of State, after all, "first chair" in his cabinet.

Where she differs, she has to do so respectfully, and for every "difference," she'd do well to point out two similarities where she agrees with him, AND give him some propers while she's at it.



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Response to Dem2 (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 03:07 PM

16. Why on earth should she do that?

President Obama, like Hillary's husband Bill, is one of the most admired US Presidents.

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Response to Dem2 (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 03:09 PM

18. No way!

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