Hillary Clinton argues for Iran deal but adds hawkish critique of Obama foreign policy

Hillary Clinton out-hawks Obama on foreign policy
(Image credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

In a speech at the Brookings Institution on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton laid out a case for the Iran nuclear deal, arguing that the deal may not be perfect, but that "those of us who have been out there on the diplomatic front lines know that diplomacy is not the pursuit of perfection. It's the balancing of risk."

But woven in among the rebuttal of Republican attacks on the accord, notes Anne Gearan at The Washington Post, Clinton "signaled clear disagreement with her former boss," repeatedly pointing to "instances overseas where she would have taken a tougher stance than Obama, from arming Syrian rebels to confronting an expansionist Russia." Moving to Obama's right on foreign policy — and recounting policy fights she lost as secretary of state — poses some risk for Clinton, Gearan adds:

The critique, delivered as part of a Washington speech focused on the Iran nuclear deal, was in many respects subtle — wrapped inside overall praise for Obama and never targeting him directly. But the differences were nonetheless striking for a candidate who has worked carefully to soften her hawkish national security reputation and who badly needs Obama’s liberal coalition of voters to gain the White House. [The Washington Post]

You can see some of Clinton's fighting words in this excerpt of her Brookings speech below. Peter Weber

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.