The Advisor Gap

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"The Advisor Gap"

Ari Berman takes a good long luck at the different groups of foreign policy advisors around Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. If you read the piece, you may find yourself frustrated that it doesn’t come to a more clear-cut conclusion. My experience trying to explore this same issue, though, is that it’s simply very difficult to reach a clear-cut conclusion as there’s a good deal of overlap. That said, insofar as there are indications of daylight between Clinton and Obama, the daylight certainly seems to be in Obama’s favor:

Today, advisers like Tony Lake point to a number of “significant differences” between Obama and Clinton. On Iraq, Obama not only opposed the war but has said he would withdraw all combat troops within sixteen months of taking office. On Iran, Obama rejected the Kyl-Lieberman resolution (though he missed the vote while campaigning) and has proposed a broader engagement strategy to lure Iran into the community of nations. On nuclear weapons, he has not only promised to reduce US nuclear stockpiles, as has Clinton, but advocates a world free of nuclear weapons. On Cuba, Obama went to Miami and said the ban on family travel and remittances to the island nation should be lifted, a policy Clinton opposes.

At any rate, you really ought to read the whole piece because there are a lot of nuances here. What’s more, assembling a “foreign policy team” for campaign purposes isn’t really the same as assembling an actual foreign policy team to govern with, so it’s a bit uncertain how much any of this matters.

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