Cinton’s undiplomatic words

In a Politico piece on the formulation of Barack Obama’s Russia strategy, Ben Smith brings up an episode from Campaign ’08 that could make things awkward his presumptive secretary of state: But he’s also surrounded himself with people who consider themselves realists on the dangers posed by Russia’s leadership, and he chose as his Secretary ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.

In a Politico piece on the formulation of Barack Obama's Russia strategy, Ben Smith brings up an episode from Campaign '08 that could make things awkward his presumptive secretary of state:

In a Politico piece on the formulation of Barack Obama’s Russia strategy, Ben Smith brings up an episode from Campaign ’08 that could make things awkward his presumptive secretary of state:

But he’s also surrounded himself with people who consider themselves realists on the dangers posed by Russia’s leadership, and he chose as his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who attacked Putin personally on the campaign trail, saying at one point that then-President Vladimir Putin “doesn’t have a soul.” (He shot back with the suggestion that she lacks a brain.)

I’m sure Clinton and Putin are more than capable of being civil when they inevitably meet. But given how often Clinton is described as a “realist,” she certainly has a record of making bombastic statements about the foreign countries that Obama most wants to engage. For instance, if Obama is successful in initiating negotiations with Iran, Clinton will likely be speaking with representatives of a country that she onced mused the U.S. could “totally obliterate” any time it wanted.

Obama and Clinton have shown they’re willing to put the bitter Democratic primary behind them. Will the rest of the world?

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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