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August 12, 2014 12:33 PM From Dubious Journalism To a HRC Flip-Flop

By Ed Kilgore

Ah, you could almost see this coming (via CNN’s Jim Acosta):

Only days after offering a stinging rebuke of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, Hillary Clinton plans to attend a party in Martha’s Vineyard alongside the President on Wednesday.
The former top diplomat, on the tiny Massachusetts island to promote her book, will find herself at the same social gathering as Obama and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, on Wednesday night.
The party is at the island home of Vernon Jordan, who acted as an adviser to former President Bill Clinton during his White House years. He’s married to a cousin of Valerie Jarrett, a top Obama aide….
Over the weekend, the former secretary of state appeared to harshly criticize her former boss’ foreign policy choices in an interview with “The Atlantic,” saying the decision not to arm Syrian rebels had led to Islamic militants taking over swaths of territory in the region.

Yesterday, you may recall, I took a closer look at HRC’s Atlantic interview, and concluded that all the talk about Clinton “harshly criticizing” Obama’s foreign policy was more than a bit overwrought. But it very quickly became CW, and so now we are supposed to be surprised that Obama’s former Secretary of State is socializing with her former boss. I betcha Clinton will be pressured into issuing some sort of “clarification” of her attitude towards Obama’s foreign policy—the foreign policy, I must apparently remind everyone, she was supervising until eighteen months ago—and then she’ll be accused of executing a flip-flop.

I realize some of this—well, “stuff,” to use the euphemism for “stupid sh*t”—is attributable to the fact that HRC and Obama were primary opponents in 2008. And some of it is also attributable to journalistic lust for finding conflict in the Democratic Party that is roughly equivalent to the constant squabbles within the GOP. There are also some progressive activists and scribes eager to pounce upon any available material to show that Clinton is an unreconstructed crypto-neocon. But let’s don’t get too carried away with a confused interchange in a single interview.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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