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Candidate Clinton?

Posted: August 12, 2014 8:22 p.m.
Updated: August 13, 2014 6:00 a.m.

If there was doubt about whether Hillary Clinton will jump into the 2016 presidential race, it was largely dispelled earlier this week when she conducted a wide-ranging interview in which she spelled out many of her foreign-policy differences with President Obama, who was her boss until she stepped down as secretary of state 19 months ago. During her tenure at the State Department, Clinton remained a loyal soldier, though she now reveals she didn’t enthusiastically support all the initiatives that were required of her by Obama.

The interview, if not a declaration of her candidacy, was certainly a strong hint that she has her eyes on the White House. Not only did she draw specific differences with the president on many situations, but she delivered a blunt assessment of his entire philosophy of dealing with other nations. “Great nations need organizing principles,” she said, dismissing Obama’s well-known “don’t do stupid stuff” line that he has used to indicate his hesitancy to involve the U.S. in unpleasant foreign affairs.

Clinton projected a much bolder, less timid foreign-policy approach than Obama has had. It’s not surprising that she holds such views, but it’s a little unusual for a recent secretary of state to be so openly critical of the president for whom she worked. But we must remember that there’s always been a hint of bad blood between Obama and the Clintons. After all, it was the president who in 2008 jerked away from her the Democratic nomination that had all been declared for her by pundits.

Clinton, if indeed she does run, will head into 2016 as the strong front-runner in her party. But as we learned six years ago, that doesn’t mean she’ll become the nominee.


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