Hillary Clinton’s Barack Obama problem

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from The Washington Post,

Hillary Clinton made a strategic move to begin to distance herself from President Obama’s foreign policy over the weekend. It failed.

Clinton’s team, concerned about the blowback from Obamaworld for her critique of his “don’t do stupid stuff” comments, put a statement out Tuesday evening seeking to quiet the tensions. “Earlier today, the Secretary called President Obama to make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him, his policies, or his leadership,” said Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill.

That statement, of course, is not, technically, accurate. If Clinton wasn’t talking about Obama in saying that “don’t do stupid stuff” wasn’t an organizing principle for foreign policy then c-a-t spells “dog”. This is a clean-up-the-mess statement; the Clinton people know that it stretches credulity but don’t really care — they needed to publicly defuse the tension before the two meet on Martha’s Vineyard tonight (more on that below) and this, they believe, is the best way to do so.

But, the sturm und drang of the past 72 hours proves two things: 1) The kumbaya story that the Obama and Clinton teams tell about their relationship isn’t the whole story and 2) Clinton’s attempts to distance herself from some of the less-popular policies of the Obama Administration will be more difficult than her team may have realized.

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