With foreign policy and national security likely to be pivotal issues in the 2016 presidential race, Democrats are already posturing to shape their party, and their presumed nominee Hillary Clinton, as possessing a formidable and forward-thinking vision, according to Politico.
The Truman National Security Project —
a progressive Washington think tank —
planned to release Tuesday a paper presenting a platform of ideas that range from "countering violent extremism to upgrading the U.S. energy grid," the website reports. The "deeply wonky and somewhat idealistic" document calls for "ambitious American leadership at a time of ‘blurring borders’ and ‘contested spaces,’" according to an advance copy obtained by Politico.
Despite Clinton having served as a secretary of state, Democrats are acknowledging the GOP’s long-standing dominance on foreign policy issues. Huffington Post political writer Erin McPike
this week took Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter to task for a recent appearance on NBC's Meet the Press
during which Cutter acknowledged that national security is not in the Dems’ wheelhouse.
"Foreign policy is a Republican base issue, which is why you see Republicans coming out of the gate talking about it," Cutter said. "It's a Republican establishment issue, and it always has been."
Cutter’s capitulation on behalf of her party is telling, according to McPike.
"One of the most prominent Democratic strategists in the country is ready to cede foreign policy to the Republicans about nine months before each party knows who its nominees will be," she writes. "And this idea —
that foreign policy and national security are topics that simply fire up the Republican base —
is a theory I've heard repeated by multiple Democratic operatives in the past week, meaning it's a line of spin some of the party is beginning to adopt."
While Clinton’s tenure in the White House provided her a plethora of foreign policy experience, Democrats harbor a "lingering worry that Republican allegations that President Barack Obama has diminished America’s stature will overshadow Democratic efforts to promote solutions to a host of global challenges," according to Politico, which cites a September Gallup poll
in which Republicans held a 23-point lead over Dems as being better able to protect the U.S. from international terrorism and military threats.
Gallup reported that it was the widest Republican advantage in the poll’s history of asking the question since 2002.
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