Clemons Lavishes Praise on Clinton: Her 'Dark, Muscular' Foreign Policy Sounds 'Very Neoconservative'

September 10, 2015

The Atlantic's Steve Clemons praised Hillary Clinton's foreign policy speech Wednesday at the Brookings Institution, telling MSNBC that her "dark, muscular" foreign policy seems "very neoconservative."

Clinton supported the Iran nuclear deal in her speech but said she would take military action if Iran broke the agreement and sought nuclear weapons, and she stressed that the Persian Gulf is of "vital" importance to U.S. strategic interests.

Clemons was impressed, as evidenced by his remarks to The Rundown's José Díaz-Balart Wednesday that amounted to an endorsement of her approach to foreign affairs and the role of the U.S. in the world.

"This is Hillary Clinton reminding a lot of people in the Democratic base what they used to be worried about her," Clemons said. "This is a candidate whose clutch is very much in the position of being prepared for war, being prepared for conflict. A very dark, muscular side of Hillary Clinton, though she supports the Iran deal. What we heard is a sort of repudiation of the Obama pivot to Asia, saying that we were going to double down in the Middle East, which President Obama said is not where the future of the United States is."

Clemons went on to offer further adulation for Clinton, saying her speech was "very neoconservative sounding" and thus excellent.

"One of the disappointing things I heard is neither an outreach to the Iranian people, which this is a very important day and moment for them to perhaps go a different track, and a continuation of, though Israel is in jeopardy, the real thing going on in the Middle East is a Sunni-Shia civil war, and she seemed to give no indication that she understands the true dynamics of the tectonic conflict in the region," Clemons said. "To me, it was a very neoconservative-sounding speech."