Hillary Clinton’s 2016 pitch: Obama, but better – Politico

President Barack Obama, flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, right, makes a statement at the start of a Cabinet Meeting at the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama, flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, right, makes a statement at the start of a Cabinet Meeting at the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Call it Obama Plus™

The rise of Bernie Sanders and the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party represents the most immediate threat to Clinton, but the candidate’s team in Brooklyn is just as focused on navigating her relationship with the acutely legacy-conscious Obama, her former opponent, ex-boss and not-so-silent political partner. And figuring out how to disentangle her legacy from his, on a handful of major issues, remains a challenge.
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To win in 2016, Clinton must wrap her arms around the most successful Democratic presidential candidate in recent history — there’s simply no path to victory in a general election if she alienates black voters and restive liberals who turned out for Obama in record numbers in two elections. Yet, as her support of the Iran deal revealed, she is also intent on portraying a future Clinton presidency as less an Obama third term than Obama Plus — with a touch of her I’m-wiser-and-tougher-than-him 2008 primary message.

“She’s going to basically support his policies but imply without saying so that she’s going to be tougher,” said Brookings Institution fellow Jeremy Shapiro, who served as a special adviser to the Clinton State Department on Europe and Asia policy.
White House officials were grateful that the former secretary of state offered her endorsement of the deal — Obama called Clinton at 11:30 p.m. Monday to outline the details, and she offered her support, according to aides in both camps. But in conversations with supporters and advisers over the past several years, Clinton has made it clear she was deeply skeptical of Iran’s willingness to follow through on its commitments — and less sanguine about the prospects of a deal than Obama.

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