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Author Heilbrunn: Hillary Will Win Neocon Vote

By    |   Sunday, 06 Jul 2014 08:26 AM

The neoconservative movement is back from the political wilderness and may be ready to promote Hillary Rodham Clinton as an appropriate steward of American foreign policy, writes author Jacob Heilbrunn in a New York Times opinion op-ed.

Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest magazine and author of "They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons," pointed to recent praise by a new generation of neocons of Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

A former neoconservative and now a critic of the camp, Heilbrunn sees signs that some neocons are preparing to align with Clinton should she seek and capture the presidency in 2016.

With elements in the GOP such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul calling for less U.S. engagement abroad, there are neocons who would side with liberal hawks in the Democratic party to regain influence, writes Heilbrunn.

Among them is historian Robert Kagan, who wrote what Heilbrunn characterizes as a "neo-neocon manifesto" in The New Republic. The article won praise from Strobe Talbott, former President Bill Clinton's deputy secretary of state and now head of the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution.

Kagan embraces "muscular Cold War liberalism" that argues that the U.S. does not have the luxury to withdraw from the world stage and must maintain its obligations to a liberal world order. Like traditional neoconservatives, Kagan's favorite president is Ronald Reagan.

Neocon Max Boot has also praised Clinton, describing her in The New Republic as "a principled voice for a strong stand on controversial issues, whether supporting the Afghan surge or the intervention in Libya," Heilbrunn notes.

The former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, now at the Hoover Institution, is another neoconservative "in Clinton's orbit," according to Heilbrunn.

"And the thing is, these neocons have a point. Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy," writes Heilbrunn. "It's easy to imagine Mrs. Clinton's making room for the neocons in her administration."

On the left, notes Heilbrunn, Clinton is criticized by journalist-activist Glenn Greenwald as being "like a neocon, practically."

Heilbrunn cites Robert Bartley, the late editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal and a backer of the neoconservative movement in the early 1970s, as pointing out that neocons are "something of a swing group between the two major parties."

Some neocons, including William Kristol of The Weekly Standard, will not be making a switch to Clinton, notes Heilbrunn. Kristol wrote that as president Clinton would "be a dutiful chaperone of further American decline."

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The neoconservative movement is back from the political wilderness and may be ready to promote Hillary Rodham Clinton as an appropriate steward of American foreign policy, writes author Jacob Heilbrunn in a New York Times opinion op-ed. Heilbrunn, editor of the National...
hillary clinton, neocon, vote, rand, paul
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2014-26-06
Sunday, 06 Jul 2014 08:26 AM
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