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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hillary the Hawk

James Hohmann writes at The Washington Post:
Obama, who opposed going into Iraq in 2003, has been reluctant to embrace his role as a wartime commander-in-chief; Clinton allies insist she would be less reticent. “Unexpectedly, in the bombastic, testosterone-fueled presidential election of 2016, Clinton is the last true hawk left in the race,” Mark Landler wrote in a New York Times Magazine cover story in April.
And, of course, she was in the Situation Room during the Osama bin Laden raid. When it looked like Joe Biden might challenge her in the primaries, Clinton took to telling audience that she supported the risky operation and the vice president opposed it.
While she was embracing the president during the primaries to lock up the African American vote, one of the few issues she broke with Obama on was deploying more special operations forces to Iraq than Obama had committed. She also advocated a partial no-fly zone in Syria, which he has resisted.
-- Hillary’s hawkishness goes back much farther than Foggy Bottom. Clinton made a strategic decision when she arrived in the Senate after her husband’s administration ended to get a seat on the Armed Services Committee. She voted for the Iraq war and sat on an emerging threats subcommittee, all with her sights set on seeking the presidency in 2008.
The chief strategist on that campaign, Mark Penn, outlined his theory of the case for how she could win in a 2006 memo. ...
“And the best role model proves the case,” Penn continued. “Margaret Thatcher was the longest serving Prime Minister in British history, serving longer than Winston Churchill. She represents the most successful elected woman leader in this century – and the adjectives that were used about her (Iron Lady) were not of good humor or warmth. They were of smart, tough leadership. As we move forward, it is important to understand who we are and who we are not. We are more Thatcher than anyone else.”
Of course, it was Hillary Clinton who gave the name to the 1992 War Room.