Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday, Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza said that Hillary Clinton’s defense of Obama’s foreign policy during the Democratic debate last Saturday may hurt her campaign, and that she needs to differentiate herself from the President:
I think she struggled a little bit in the first 30 minutes or so of the debate over the weekend in that what she sounded like on foreign policy was essentially a defender of the status quo of President Obama, essentially saying, ‘Well, we did the best we could. I agree with the President.’
Cillizza also said that it is “very likely” that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, but defending Obama’s foreign policy “when you know you’re going to be attacked as the third term of Obama” could hurt her in the general election.
“She’s got to find ways to differentiate and explain herself a little bit better,” he said.
Clinton may very well do that today with her speech in New York that is supposed to focus on the terrorist attacks in Paris last week.
Obama has come under heavy criticism from Republicans for calling the attacks merely a “setback,” and for not altering the administration’s strategy to combat ISIS despite those attacks.
Clinton will have to walk a fine line. As Obama’s former secretary of state, she can’t veer too far from his foreign policy so as to appear to repudiate it, yet she must differentiate herself to assure voters that she won’t be Obama 3.0, all while trying to appeal to Bernie Sanders supporters to blunt his candidacy.
With Sanders giving a speech on socialism today, the odds are that the liberal media will paint Clinton as the more reasonable candidate, while her differences with Obama will be glossed over or overlooked completely.