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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs