The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Clinton and White House try to shrug off differences after foreign policy split

  • Print
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shakes hands with a customer at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, in Vineyard Haven, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, during a book signing event for her memoir

Enlarge Image

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shakes hands with a customer at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, in Vineyard Haven, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, during a book signing event for her memoir "Hard Choices." Hillary Rodham Clinton says she's looking forward to hugging out her differences with President Barack Obama. Obama's former secretary of state told reporters Wednesday that she's proud to have served with him despite some differences of opinion. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. - Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama did their best to shrug off their differences Wednesday as they gathered on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard following a foreign policy split, in yet another twist in their complex and heavily scrutinized relationship.

Obama's spokesman said the White House "is looking onwards and upwards," while Clinton joked she was planning on hugging it off with her former boss at a party on the upscale getaway where the president was vacationing.

"We have disagreements as any partners and friends, as we are, might very well have," Clinton told reporters crowded into a bookstore signing of her memoir, "Hard Choices." ''But I'm proud that I served with him and for him, and I'm looking forward to seeing him tonight."

Clinton made her first public comments since a flap emerged over her interview with The Atlantic magazine in which she seemed to try to set herself apart from the unpopular Obama as she heads toward a possible 2016 White House bid.

"Great nations need organizing principles, and 'don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle," she had said in the interview, referring to a version of the phrase Obama and his advisers have used privately to describe his approach to foreign policy. Clinton described a more aggressive approach she would take in places like Syria and the Mideast.

Her critiques came at a particularly challenging time for Obama, with bombs falling on Iraq and disputes raging in Syria, the Mideast, Ukraine and elsewhere. A former top Obama adviser, David Axelrod, took to Twitter to write: "Just to clarify: 'Don't do stupid stuff' means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision."

It was her biggest split with Obama since their 2008 presidential primary campaign when she questioned whether her younger Senate colleague was qualified to take a 3 a.m. phone call on a foreign policy emergency. Clinton took a more hawkish stance than Obama in that campaign, particularly on the Iraq War, but Obama put their bitter contest behind them by naming her his top diplomat.

Clinton loyally carried out Obama's foreign policy agenda for four years as secretary of state, but described some objections she raised internally in her new book, which focused on her time in the administration. She expanded on those objections in her interview, saying Obama's "failure" to fully support the rebels in Syria fueled the rise of Islamic State militants now the object of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

Reporters who crowded around a table set up for Clinton's signing at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore asked her whether she disagreed with Obama's Iraq policy.

"I'm excited about signing books," she said, turning to a line of hundreds that snaked through the rainy streets near the ferry dock that brings summer visitors to the island. About 1,000 copies of the book were bought in advance, and the store was open only for those who had made the purchases.

Obama spokesman Eric Schultz declined to say whether the president was upset over her critique of his performance as he juggles several crises overseas, although he acknowledged "an honest policy difference" on the Syrian rebels. Schultz said Obama appreciated that Clinton called the president Tuesday to say she was not trying to attack him. Schultz described the two as having "a close and resilient relationship."

The president and first lady Michelle Obama later arrived at the Farm Neck Golf Club for an 80th birthday celebration for Ann Jordan, wife of Democratic adviser Vernon Jordan. The media was not allowed in.

___

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Willy wants to get back to winning

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A nesting goose sits on the roof of GoodLife Fitness at 143 Nature Way near Kenaston as the morning sun comes up Wednesday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 07- Web crop-May 09, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think e-cigarettes should be banned by the school division?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google