After reading Hillary Clinton's interview with The Atlantic, a few characters come to mind.
For starters, Major Benson Winifred Payne from Major Payne (given both and he and Hillary seem to want to handle conflict in a similar manner). The same goes for Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump. Then there are more hilarious albeit still menacing real-life characters like John McCain, a war hawk if there ever were one. McCain is the most apt comparison of course, and it's no wonder they speak of each other so fondly (at least by contemporary standards anyway). They are both defiantly dated in their perception of the world surrounding them.
Likewise, they share contempt for certain aspects of President Obama’s point of view on global affairs. As Clinton explained, “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
Even if Hillary Clinton has since "clarified," nee removed her heel from her mouth before angry, war weary liberals told her to shove it someplace else for criticizing President Obama, all she did was remind many of why they were relieved that she didn't win the Democratic primary six years ago. No matter how simple Clinton felt Obama's use of the phrase "don't do stupid stuff" was in assessing foreign policy, it now highlights that simplicity would still go a long way in deflating Clinton's more stern outlook of how the U.S. should behave on the global stage.
As we now face the prospects of the United States sending more troops to help cool the chaos of its own creation—Good Morning, Iraq—I, like David Axelrod, can't help but think back to Hillary's choice to support the invasion in the first place. She did so for political reasons —i.e. why she just essentially threw a rock and hid her hand as she criticized the [unpopular] President Obama for the sake of separating herself from him. She is well within her right to do so, but it feels unnecessary.
Should she coast to the Democratic primary win in 2016, her Republican opponent will be from a pool of circus clowns. And even if their current front-runner, Rand Paul, has offered a more nuanced, less war mongering mantra that we are not used to hearing from GOP pols on the national stage (select hypocritical stances be damned), this country is tired of aggressively sticking its nose in everyone else's business while America literally crumbles (Good Morning, Ferguson). Meanwhile, though I have read analysis that argues Obama and Clinton do not differ on Syria as reports suggests, her comments about Israel—basically they are right, right, right, and everyone is else is wrong, wrong, and then some, are frustrating.
Comparing the global response to what’s recently taken place in the Ukraine as opposed to events along Gaza, Clinton says it’s far worse in the former country before noting, “and yet we do see this enormous international reaction against Israel, and Israel’s right to defend itself, and the way Israel has to defend itself. This reaction is uncalled for and unfair.”
Perhaps that is just how it works in this country – Israel can do no wrong ever – but it doesn't make it any less bothersome. Clinton already has to contend with the perception that she may be a relic among select voters and this interview did her no favors. Clinton may want to reposition herself as a populist to secure the presidency, but she has already shown struggles with that, too. She's in the club doing the same old two-step. Someone has got to at least show her the Shomney dance.
I'm not totally averse to a second Clinton presidency, but I am not excited about it either beyond the celebration of a gender barrier being broken. Maybe she can truly evolve, though it will have to come from challenge from a serious challenger. So please, continue whispering sweet political nothings in the ear of Elizabeth Warren. If this is Clinton’s vision of the U.S. in the future so be it, but we better make her fight for it first.