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Hillary’s Horrible Week In Review

- August 15, 2014

In An Attempt To Have It Both Ways, Clinton Once Again Finds Herself In Hot Water After Even More Book Tour Stumbles

“Hillary Clinton Made A Strategic Move To Begin To Distance Herself From President Obama’s Foreign Policy Over The Weekend. It Failed.” (Chris Cillizza, “Hillary Clinton’s Barack Obama Problem,” The Washington Post, 8/13/14)

  • Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs: Clinton’s Own Policies “Now Lie In Shambles,” And She May “Want To Walk Away From This Mess, But She Can’t.” “It’s said that the best defense is a good offense. This strategy probably lies behind Hillary Clinton’s recent takedown of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. After all, Clinton was a lead architect of that policy as Secretary of State, and the policies that she espoused until recently now lie in shambles. … Hillary may want to walk away from this mess, but she can’t.” (Jeffrey Sachs, Op-Ed, “Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Deception,” The Huffington Post, 8/13/14)

Bloomberg ‘s Al Hunt: “It’s Been A Bad Couple Of Months” For Hillary Clinton And This Is Just Her Latest Blunder. AL HUNT: “But I hope, for her sake, the lesson she’s learned is that she has understand that maybe there’s an inner circle that doesn’t always serve her well and she has to think more carefully about some of these things. She’s a very smart woman. But whether it’s ‘we were broke when we left the house,’ the confrontation with the NPR reporter, or this latest [inaudible] , it’s been a bad couple of months.” (MSNBC’s ”Morning Joe,” 8/14/14)

  • CNN’s Gloria Borger: This Week, Clinton Really “Stepped In It.” WOLF BLITZER: “She wants to hug it out with the President. It’s a little awkward, though, isn’t it?” GLORIA BORGER: “Look, I think she’s well aware that she stepped in it. She had in her book said there were differences with the President on Syria. But what she did was she took a policy difference and she made it personal, calling Syria a policy of failure. and then, of course, David Axelrod, his former aide, tweeted something that people in the white house were saying privately, which is ‘don’t do stupid stuff’ means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place. and you have this up on the screen, which was a tragically bad didn’t, hint-hint, reminding everybody that Hillary Clinton had actually voted for the war in Iraq. And don’t forget, this is a president who when she was retiring went on ’60 minutes’ with her — some of his staff has gone to work for her super PAC, etc., etc. So I think there are lots of hurt feelings here that she’s got to try and fix.” (CNN’s ” Wolf,” 8/13/14)

LIKE SHE DID IN 2008, CLINTON IS FACING MAJOR BLOWBACK FROM THE DEMOCRAT BASE

“Hillary Clinton Is Giving Some Liberals Flashbacks To 2008, And Not In A Good Way.” (Katie Glueck, “Hillary Clinton Gives Liberals 2008 Deja Vu,” Politico, 8/11/14)

Progressives Are Left “Wincing” Following Clinton’s Interview With The Atlantic.“Progressives are wincing over Clinton’s foreign policy comments in a blockbuster interview with The Atlantic, saying her statements are excessively hawkish and reminiscent of her past support for the war in Iraq. Some foreign policy experts, meanwhile, are criticizing her views as too simplistic; one analyst called them downright disloyal to President Barack Obama.” (Katie Glueck, “Hillary Clinton Gives Liberals 2008 Deja Vu,” Politico, 8/11/14)

  • Clinton Was “Pilloried” By The Democratic Base During The 2008 Democratic Primary. “In the 2008 Democratic primary, Clinton positioned herself as an experienced hand who could handle the ’3 a.m. phone call.’ She was pilloried for that by the Democratic base, and the war-weary grass roots turned instead to Obama, who was able to position himself as the more anti-war candidate.” (Katie Glueck, “Hillary Clinton Gives Liberals 2008 Deja Vu,” Politico, 8/11/14)

Progressives Jumped At The Chance To Attack Clinton Over Her Interview

Democracy For America, A Liberal Grassroots Group Founded By Howard Dean, Said “Clinton Needs To Decide Which Side Of The Party She Represents…” “Democracy for America, the grassroots organizing group founded by former presidential candidate Howard Dean, told msnbc in a statement that Clinton needs to decide which side of the party she represents, both on foreign policy and economic issues.” (Alex Seitz-Wald, “Hillary Clinton Promises To ‘Hug It Out’ With Obama,” MSNBC, 8/13/14)

  • Democracy For America: “The Entire Progressive Movement Is Trying To Figure Out How Hillary Clinton Has Changed From The Last Election.” “‘The entire progressive movement is trying to figure out how Hillary Clinton has changed from the last election,’ said Neil Sroka, the group’s communications director. ‘If she hasn’t changed her stance on the foreign policy issues which she was disastrously wrong on in 2008, how are we to believe she’s evolved on the issue that will define the 2016 election, income inequality?’” (Alex Seitz-Wald, “Hillary Clinton Promises To ‘Hug It Out’ With Obama,” MSNBC, 8/13/14)

MoveOn.Org Issued A Scathing Reaction And Warning To Clinton Following Her Interview. “Secretary Clinton, and any other person thinking about seeking the democratic nomination in 2016, should think long and hard before embracing the same policies advocated by right-wing war hawks that got America into Iraq in the first place and helped set the stage for Iraq’s troubles today. These hawkish policy stances are also threatening to undermine the peaceful international resolution of Iran’s nuclear program. Voters elected president Obama in 2008 to bring the war in Iraq to an end. MoveOn members continue to stand with elected officials who oppose military escalation that could put us back on a path to endless war.” (Press Release, “MoveOn Reacts To Hillary Clinton’s Comments,” MoveOn.org, 8/12/14)

  • MoveOn.org Is A Liberal Group That Was Founded To Defend The Bill And Hillary Clinton In The 1990s. “Meanwhile, MoveOn.org, which was founded to defend the Clintons in the late 1990s and then became a key figure opposing the Iraq War in the Bush era, fired a shot over Clinton’s bow in a statement Tuesday. She needs to ‘think long and hard before embracing the same policies advocated by right-wing war hawks that got America into Iraq,’ said Ilya Sheyman, the executive director of the group’s political arm.” (Alex Seitz-Wald, “Hillary Clinton Promises To ‘Hug It Out’ With Obama,” MSNBC, 8/13/14)

Obamaworld Lashed Out At Clinton Over Her Interview

“One Obama Ally Described Clinton’s Maneuver This Way: ‘Inevitable. Predictable. Authentically HRC In A Fashion That Reminds People Like Me Why We Opposed Her So Strongly In 2007.’” (Katie Glueck, “Hillary Clinton Gives Liberals 2008 Deja Vu,” Politico, 8/11/14)

Obama’s Close Ally And Former Adviser David Axelrod “Took A Not-So-Veiled Shot At Hillary Clinton” Over Her Criticism Of Obama’s Foreign Policy. “A close confidant and former senior adviser to President Barack Obama took a not-so-veiled shot at Hillary Clinton on Tuesday for voting to authorize the Iraq War, in apparent push-back to the former Secretary of State’s criticism of Obama’s foreign policy. …’Just to clarify: ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision,’ David Axelrod wrote on Twitter, in clear reference to Clinton’s vote in favor of the Iraq War in 2002-a vote Obama said he opposed.” (Zeke J. Miller, “Obama Ally Knocks Hillary Clinton Over Iraq War Vote,” Time, 8/12/14)

“The Critique Was A Rare Rebuke Of Clinton From Obama’s Inner Circle, Just As Clinton Is Starting The Tricky Balancing Act Of Distancing Herself From Her Increasingly Unpopular Former Boss.” (Zeke J. Miller, “Obama Ally Knocks Hillary Clinton Over Iraq War Vote,” Time, 8/12/14)

  • Clinton Now Finds Herself In The Middle Of A “Festering Civil War.” “On the festering civil war, Clinton writes that ‘the President’s inclination was to stay the present course and not take the significant further step of arming rebels,’ while hers was to arm the rebels.” (Dan Merica, “Clinton Dances Between Loyalty And Self-Interest,” CNN, 8/13/14)

BUT IT’S NOT JUST THE LIBERAL BASE: CLINTON’S CLUMSY ATTEMPT TO LATER MEND FENCES DIDN’T FOOL ANYONE

National Journal ‘s Ron Fournier: “After Weathering Some Pushback From The White House,” Clinton Issued A Statement Saying She Reached Out To Obama Over Her Comments. “Maybe I jumped the gun. After weathering some pushback from the White House, including a snarky tweet by Obama consultant David Axelrod, Clinton released this statement through a spokesman: ‘Earlier today, the Secretary called President Obama to make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him, his policies or his leadership.’” (Ron Fournier, “The Audacity To Be Authentic: Hillary Clinton’s Risky Hedge Against Obama,” National Journal , 8/12/14)

  • National Journal ‘s Ron Fournier: “There Are Several Problems With [Clinton's] Statement. First, It’s Inaccurate.” (Ron Fournier, “The Audacity To Be Authentic: Hillary Clinton’s Risky Hedge Against Obama,” National Journal , 8/12/14)

Bloomberg ‘s Al Hunt: Clinton Gave “Careless Talk In The Interview, Then The Walk-Back Was Almost Worse.” AL HUNT: “This as you know, this pains me to say, but Hillary Clinton is having the same kind of season as Bryce Harper. She is underperforming, it’s careless talk. I think it was careless talk in the interview, then the walk-back was almost worse. I just think she’s just, whether it’s sea legs, whether she’s rusty, it’s really been a bad several months for her.” (MSNBC’s ” Morning Joe,” 8/14/14)

  • The Washington Post ‘s Aaron Blake: “Just Saying: If Hillary Really Wasn’t Referring To Obama In Those Remarks, Monday Would Have Been A Fantastic Time To Clarify That.” (Aaron Blake, Twitter Feed, 8/12/14)

The Charade Proves That The “Kumbaya Story” That The Obama-Clinton Teams Promote “Isn’t The Whole Story” And “Attempts To Distance Herself From Some Of The Less-Popular Policies Of The Obama Administration Will Be More Difficult Than Her Team May Have Realized.” “But, the sturm und drang of the past 72 hours proves two things: 1) The kumbaya story that the Obama and Clinton teams tell about their relationship isn’t the whole story and 2) Clinton’s attempts to distance herself from some of the less-popular policies of the Obama Administration will be more difficult than her team may have realized.” (Chris Cillizza, “Hillary Clinton’s Barack Obama Problem,” The Washington Post, 8/13/14)

Clinton’s Clumsy Attempts To Separate Herself From An Unpopular President And Her Own Policies Failed

CNN Headline: “Clinton Dances Between Loyalty And Self-Interest” (Dan Merica, “Clinton Dances Between Loyalty And Self-Interest,” CNN, 8/13/14)

Clinton Had The “Perfect Opportunity” To State Her Disagreements With Obama In Her Memoir, But She “Largely Balked At Her Chance” To Break Away From His Policies. “The primary problem: Clinton recently published ‘Hard Choices,’ a 656-page volume about her experiences as America’s top diplomat that is noticeably thin on disagreements with Obama. Yes, Clinton writes about conflicting opinions over arming Syrian rebels and some smaller differences on drones. But she largely balked at her chance in the book to break with Obama. It was a perfect opportunity to do so.” (Dan Merica, “Clinton Dances Between Loyalty And Self-Interest,” CNN, 8/13/14)

  • In Fact, Clintonworld Doubled Down And Continued To Promote The Administration’s Record And “Drew Her Closer” To Obama’s Foreign Policy. “If anything, Clinton’s aides and outside supporters responded to Republican criticism of her record at the State Department and drew her closer to her boss’s foreign policy. Correct the Record, an outside rapid response and communications group, began tweeting and writing about Clinton’s accomplishments on a daily basis. It touted her book as a success, highlighted her work in the Middle East and heralded Clinton’s ‘pivot to Asia.’ At the same time, Clinton and her advisers retooled her promotional bio and worked out an answer for the question, ‘What did you accomplish as secretary of state?’” (Dan Merica, “Clinton Dances Between Loyalty And Self-Interest,” CNN, 8/13/14)

Eventually, A “Cascading Series Of World Events” Began To Coincide With Clinton’s Book Tour And The Obama Administration’s Foreign Policy Was Drawn Under Fire.“But a cascading series of world events that seemed to coincide with the book tour or the buzz around it challenged America’s interests abroad in a big way and tested its influence. New and more difficult questions emerged. Obama’s foreign policy was under fire on a number of fronts.” (Dan Merica, “Clinton Dances Between Loyalty And Self-Interest,” CNN, 8/13/14)

  • “Acutely Aware Of The Changing Narrative, Clinton Has Been Trying To Selectively Distance Herself From Some Of The Messy Foreign Developments.” (Dan Merica, “Clinton Dances Between Loyalty And Self-Interest,”CNN, 8/13/14)
  • But Clinton’s Attempts This Week To Distance Herself From Obama’s Foreign Policy “Appeared To Cause More Harm Than Good.” “But this week, she put it into clearer political context. In an interview with The Atlantic, Clinton trashed the Obama mantra that reflects his cautious approach to foreign policy: ‘Don’t do stupid stuff.’ …This all appeared to cause more harm than good.” (Dan Merica, “Clinton Dances Between Loyalty And Self-Interest,” CNN, 8/13/14)

The Blunder Has Cast Major Doubt On Clinton’s Inevitability As The Democratic Presidential Nominee In 2016. “Among those of us who write frequently about Hillary Clinton’s chances of becoming president, there have generally been two key assumptions: First, that Clinton’s biggest obstacle to winning the Democratic nomination, such as it is, will be the rising economic populism within the party, not a foreign policy schism. And second, that Barack Obama and his advisers will give Clinton a fair amount of latitude in distancing herself from his administration, because they understand that this will help her in 2016, and because they believe a Clinton victory is their best hope of protecting his legacy. Since Sunday, however, when Clinton’s provocative interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg came out, both assumptions have looked somewhat questionable.” (Noam Scheiber, “Hillary Clinton Has Made Her First Major Blunder Of The 2016 Campaign,” The New Republic, 8/12/14)

  • “She’d Better Hope Joe Biden And Elizabeth Warren Weren’t Paying Attention.” (Noam Scheiber, “Hillary Clinton Has Made Her First Major Blunder Of The 2016 Campaign,” The New Republic, 8/12/14)

AS CLINTON UNSUCCESSFULLY TRIES TO SHAKE OBAMA AND HER UNPOPULAR POLICIES, HER APPROVAL IS DROPPING

Due To Her Recent Gaffes And Highly Publicized Book Tour, Clinton’s Lead Over GOP Presidential Candidates Is Shrinking And Her Support Has Slipped Below 50 Percent.“Potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s lead over a crowded prospective Republican field has narrowed and her support has slipped below 50 percent, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. (William Douglas, “Clinton’s Lead Over GOP Candidates Shrinking,” McClatchy, 8/13/14)

 Lee Miringoff, The Director Of The Marist Institute For Public Opinion In New York, Which Conducted The Survey, Attributed The Slippage To Clinton’s Increased Visibility In Promoting Her New Book, ‘Hard Choices,’ And Some Recent Gaffes.”(William Douglas, “Clinton’s Lead Over GOP Candidates Shrinking,” McClatchy, 8/13/14)


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