Tags: Trump Administration | Barack Obama | Hillary Clinton | Hillary Clinton | 2016 | Obama | agree

Can Hillary Separate from Obama When They Agree on So Much?

By    |   Wednesday, 12 November 2014 04:27 PM

As Democrats try to gear up for 2016 after a resounding defeat in last week's midterms, many of them profess the opinion that Republican control of both houses of Congress will work to their advantage.

In interviews with The Washington Post, numerous Democratic Party operatives said  GOP control would make it easier for Clinton to define herself and would remove the temptation to compare or contrast herself with Obama.

Obama's legacy "is now entirely dependent on the election of a Democratic successor as president who will protect and extend it, not demolish it," said David Brock, a chairman of American Bridge, a super PAC that backs Democrats.

Brock, a Clinton ally, said that if the former secretary of state runs for president, she would share along with Obama "a common enemy in a Republican Congress that will define politics through 2016."

Republicans say that the policy differences between the two are minimal, a point they will attempt to drive home to the public again and again. Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin, for example, ticks off seven issues, including Obamacare, cap and trade, raising taxes on the rich, and the so-called "reset" of relations with Russia. On these and other issues, there is little to no substantive difference between the two, Rubin writes.

Rubin and other Republicans point to Mrs. Clinton's "60 Minutes" appearance last year, where she described how the two politicians realized how much they agree upon. "We could never figure out what we were different on," Clinton said.

One longtime Obama adviser said the president is well aware that Clinton will have to publicly question his actions. Obama is not concerned about that, the adviser said, pointing to Clinton's sharp criticism of Obama's Syria policy.

Obama "didn't care," said the adviser. "He's a pretty confident guy."

Geoff Garin, a Clinton adviser and pollster in 2008, said the pair would probably attempt to keep their distance from one another. While they may cooperate in certain areas, he said, "I think more frequently the imperative will be to stay out of each other's way."

Mrs. Clinton has reasons for both wanting to keep her distance from Obama and wanting to cooperate with him. On the one hand, the president has connections to Democratic Party fundraising networks and wealthy donors which can benefit her presumptive campaign. On the other, however, is the stark political reality that Obama has become decidedly unpopular with the American people, who believe his policies are failing.

"Why did so many Democrats lose on Tuesday?"  The Washington Post said in summarizing the results of exit polls from around the country. "Here's the simplest answer: President Obama was a political dead weight for his party."

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Politics
As Democrats try to gear up for 2016 after a resounding defeat in last week's midterms, many of them profess the opinion that Republican control of both houses of Congress will work to their advantage.
Hillary Clinton, 2016, Obama, agree, policies
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2014-27-12
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 04:27 PM
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