On Sunday a Hillary Clinton/Jeffrey Goldberg interview was published in which the former Secretary of State slammed her former boss for the foreign policy which in many cases, she helped to develop. Politico is reporting that Ms. Clinton warned the administration that the hammer was on the way.
The interview, which was published by The Atlantic, represented Clinton’s first major public criticism of the Obama administration since she left her position as secretary of state last year.
In the interview Clinton blamed advances made by ISIS in Syria on the Obama administration’s “failure” to do more to back other groups that have been battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since 2011.
She also claimed Obama’s foreign policy doctrine was “Don’t do stupid sh*t.“
A source familiar with the interview said Clinton’s team gave the White House a warning that it had taken place. Clinton aides described the interview as one intended to promote her memoir, and Goldberg as a long-planned-for target on a list of interviews around the book — and not part of an overarching political strategy related to 2016.
Political watchers will be tempted to characterize Clinton’s comments as calibrating away from an unpopular president as she looks toward a second presidential campaign. But Clinton has always been more of a hawk than Obama, and she has reached a point where she seems comfortable explaining their differences. Still, while her comments may not have been a specific effort to escape the creeping shadow of global chaos stretching over the White House, they will be viewed that way.
” I guess she is ready to begin to rip the Clinton franchise away from the Obama franchise,” said Steve Clemons, an Atlantic foreign policy blogger. “This is a staggeringly important interview and, in many ways, is going to reawaken the substantial resistance to her as a reckless interventionist by some quarters. … Her comments on Syria are very provocative.”
One Democratic operative who asked not to be identified said the clear takeaway from the interview was simply that Clinton advisers are “good poll readers,” a reference to Obama’s sinking public approval ratings. A Clinton adviser replied, “That’s ridiculous,” stressing she has no polling operation.
If you need more proof to support Politico report that Obama was warned is that he spent yesterday being interviewed by the NY Times’ foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman, doing his best to blunt any damage the Clinton interview may cause.