Meanwhile, just as Barack Obama’s more centrist economic advisors are telling people he wouldn’t really withdraw from NAFTA, it seems that Hillary Clinton’s more hawkish advisors are telling people she won’t really withdraw from Iraq. It’s hard to know what the truth is here. From 2002-2006 or so, Clinton went out of her way to cultivate an image as a hawk, forging relationships with the Michael O’Hanlons and Kenneth Pollacks of the world, hanging out at Peter Beinart’s book party, getting herself labeled one of Jeffrey Goldberg’s “national security Democrats,” having Richard Holbrooke brag to reporters that “She is probably more assertive and willing to use force than her husband,” and so forth.
More recently, she’s talked a lot about ending cowboy diplomacy and ending the war in Iraq. If she becomes the nominee, will we start hearing again about how beating the drums of war with Iran is the way to shift into “general election mode, when she must guard against critics from the right”?