New Hillary book lays foundation for 2016 run

In Clinton’s description, virtually every foreign policy problem presents hard choices: the intractable Middle East, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Libya, the Arab Spring and on and on. And if she believes that in most cases the administration tried to pursue the right course, there are enough chapters that end with issues unresolved or problems even worse today than at the beginning of the administration to raise questions about what should have been done instead…

The book is a careful document designed to preserve, perhaps burnish, future possibilities. The disagreements she outlines are described in collegial terms — although she does mention a “shouting match” with then-CIA Director Leon Panetta over a drone strike. In some cases, she suggests that she had differences with White House officials on policies that ultimately went awry. She says she had reservations, for example, about taking a hard-line stance with Israel over new settlements as Obama initially did.

In her book, Clinton addresses her possible candidacy with a teasing line. “Will I run for president in 2016?” she writes. “The answer is, I haven’t decided yet.” Yet the last few chapters shift from foreign policy to domestic issues with which a future president will have to grapple. The book ends with this: “The time for another hard choice will come soon enough.” In fact, it’s difficult to find anyone with a Clinton connection who does not believe she will be a candidate.