By Nedra Pickler, AP
EDGARTOWN, Massachusetts–After working to carry out President Barack Obama’s foreign policy mission for four years as secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton is contrasting her vision for America’s role in the world ahead of a possible 2016 White House bid.
Clinton drew the sharpest distinctions yet from her former boss in a rebuke of his cautious approach to global crises. “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Clinton said in a weekend magazine interview, referring to a version of the phrase Obama and his advisers have used privately to describe his approach to foreign policy.
Asked for her organizing principle, she replied: “Peace, progress, and prosperity. This worked for a very long time.”
Clinton wrapped her critiques in expressions of respect for the president and sympathy for the tough global decisions he grapples with from the Oval Office. On Monday, a vacation day for Obama, he dealt with issues involving Iraq, Ukraine, Gaza, Syria, as well as terrorism and Ebola in Africa.
“He’s thoughtful, he’s incredibly smart, and able to analyze a lot of different factors that are all moving at the same time,” she said. “I think he is cautious because he knows what he inherited, both the two wars and the economic front, and he has expended a lot of capital and energy trying to pull us out of the hole we’re in.”