Tags: Hillary Clinton | hawks | Democrats | ISIS

Lanny Davis: Are Obama, Clinton Really 'Too Hawkish' for Dems?

Image: Lanny Davis: Are Obama, Clinton Really 'Too Hawkish' for Dems?
President Barack Obama, left, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Peter Macdiarmid/AFP/Getty Images; Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 08:58 AM


Neither former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nor President Barack Obama should be seen as "too hawkish" to be in line with Democrats' views, says Washington attorney Lanny Davis, in an opinion piece for The Hill.

"The facts are that Clinton and Obama not only agree on the policies the president set forth in his nationwide speech — specifically to use U.S. air power and ground forces (though limited for now) to support and train Kurds and Iraqis in order to “degrade and destroy” ISIS — but also on the surge in Afghanistan, the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the use of drones to target and kill terrorists," said Davis, who served as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton.

"Does that mean both Obama and Clinton are both too 'hawkish' and 'interventionist' so as to be 'out of step' with the liberal Democratic Party base?"

Davis wrote his opinion piece to take issue with statements made by new NBC "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd, on the PBS's "Charlie Rose Show," a few days  before Obama's Sept. 10 prime-time speech.

Todd told Rose that even if Clinton were running as the second female president, "I think she would not even be considered a frontrunner. She'd be just considered another candidate."

Clinton, said Davis, would be the frontrunner even if she was a man because of her qualifications and experience, including serving as a secretary of state, a U.S. senator, and first lady in both Arkansas and the White House.

"She received roughly 18 million votes in the 2008 primaries — about the same as the total then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama received — including her election victories in such large states as Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Michigan, Florida, and California," said Davis.

Todd also said Clinton would not be the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee because "she is much more hawkish than where the Democratic Party is on foreign policy" and "she's kind of out of step where the Democratic Party is going to be in 2016," he said.

But, he pointed out, Obama agrees with Clinton on supporting the Syrian political opposition, a view that has brought her controversy for being too hawkish for party support.

"On the same day as the Todd interview, Sept. 9, a Washington Post/ABC poll found that two-thirds or more of the American people support airstrikes in Iraq and in Syria to stop ISIS and that 'sizable majorities of Democrats' take the same position," said Davis.

So, instead of using labels like "hawkish" to describe candidates, Davis said he agrees with the bipartisan centrist group No Labels, which encourages leaders to put them aside and focus on fixing problems.

"I hope all of us — Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, even pundits, bloggers and columnists (myself included!) — can refrain from using labels to describe political opponents and, instead, stick to facts as the basis for constructive debate, leading to real solutions to our problems at home and abroad," Davis concluded.


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Neither former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nor President Barack Obama should be seen as "too hawkish" to be in line with Democrats' views, says Washington attorney Lanny Davis.
Hillary Clinton, hawks, Democrats, ISIS
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2014-58-18
Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 08:58 AM
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