News / USA

Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Electioni
X
Jim Malone
August 19, 2014 6:35 PM
President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy, saying in a magazine interview that merely avoiding foreign policy mistakes should not be an organizing principle of U.S. foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for president in 2016.

President Barack Obama and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seem to have smoothed over a recent tiff over his foreign policy.  It’s the latest chapter in what has been a long and complicated political relationship between powerful Democrats -- one who became president in 2009 and another who may run for president in 2016.  That relationship could change yet again if Hillary Clinton decides to make a run for the White House two years from now.

It is sometimes easy to forget that before they became political allies, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were fierce rivals for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2008.

Obama emerged victorious in that battle and later went on to become president.  He surprised many by choosing Clinton as his first secretary of state.

Foreign policy critique

But their relationship appeared to take another turn recently when Clinton criticized Obama’s approach to foreign policy in an interview with The Atlantic magazine.

“Great nations need organizing principles," Clinton told the magazine and that "‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

The critique seemed to revive some of the old tensions between the Clinton and Obama camps.  It also followed her to a bookstore on Martha’s Vineyard as she signed copies of her book, Hard Choices, where she downplayed her differences with the president.  “We have disagreements as any partners and friends, as we are, might very well have.  But I am proud that I served with him and for him.”

Conciliatory words also came from the White House and Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz. 

“They continue to agree on a broad majority of issues confronting our country even if they have the occasional policy difference," he said.

Evolving political relationship

Some political observers like Tom DeFrank of the National Journal saw the interview as an attempt by Clinton to put some political distance between herself and Obama. 

“It’s quite possible that the American people are ready for a third Clinton term.  But they are definitely not ready for a third Obama term.”  DeFrank said on VOA’s “Issues in the News” program.

But analyst Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution has a different take. 

“She is more hawkish in her views," Mann said. " I think she was speaking quite frankly about what she believes in foreign policy.  I don’t see it as brilliant tactics for setting herself up for the election.”

Republicans are also preparing for a possible Clinton campaign.  But who might emerge from their presidential field is far from certain, according to expert John Fortier.  “So Republicans are certainly aware of some of her strengths and weaknesses, but really I think it is more of a challenge for Republicans to have a candidate who gets to be as well-known as Hillary Clinton and then can go one-on-one with her.”

Hillary Clinton and President Obama will hit the campaign trail soon in advance of congressional elections in November.  But Mann says it is Republicans who have a clear advantage in this year’s balloting. 

“It is especially the case when the president isn’t terribly popular, when people still have economic anxieties and when they believe the country is moving in the wrong direction," Mann noted.

It’s possible that Clinton will find herself in more demand from Democrats looking for campaign help than President Obama.  Some Democrats, especially those in Republican-leaning states, want to maintain some distance with the president, who is suffering through some of the lowest public approval ratings of his presidency.

You May Like

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mark koch from: US
August 20, 2014 7:39 AM
Please elaborate on what exactly is the foreign policy of either of these two notables.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs