Hillary Clinton's non-existent hawk problem

Those looking for more disagreement between Clinton and her likely Democratic primary electorate are focusing on other parts of the interview. To Goldberg, she reiterates that she thought, in 2012, “that if we were to carefully vet, train, and equip early on a core group of the developing Free Syrian Army, we would, number one, have some better insight into what was going on on the ground” and “two, we would have been helped in standing up a credible political opposition.”

Noam Scheiber reads this and thinks that Clinton blew it.

[O]pposition among Democrats to overseas interventions, particularly in the Middle East, remains so strong and raw that, if Clinton continues in this vein, even a weaker insurgent candidate than Warren could theoretically rough up Clinton in a primary (although probably not defeat her outright). That’s particularly so when you consider that Obama remains very popular within the Democratic Party. It’s bad enough to announce your support for a more hawkish foreign policy. It’s much worse to marry it with a shot at the president.

Let’s proceed on the assumption that the “shot at the president” was fairly mild. The evidence that Scheiber cites for the claim that that Democrats oppose “overseas interventions” is recent polling on the War in Iraq. That was a land war of choice begun by a Republican president and supported initially by Hillary Clinton. (She has apologized in the pages of Hard Choices.) What about the actions supported by President Obama? In September 2013, when the White House was attempting to build support for missile strikes in Syria, Democrats were the political group most likely to support them.