In her latest video, Gabbard makes a number of broad, sometimes confusing claims about Clinton’s “foreign policy,” offering few specifics. Much of her argument that Clinton’s policies have “devastated entire countries” with “millions of lives lost” seems to allude to the Bush administration’s disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq over false WMD claims, which Clinton, as a then-New York Senator, initially supported. At one point, Gabbard attributes to Clinton “an exacerbation of the problem of nuclear proliferation by overthrowing [Muammar] Gaddafi in Libya.” Libya’s nuclear weapons program was voluntarily dismantled in 2004, six years before Gaddafi’s ouster in 2010, when Clinton was Secretary of State and subsequent IAEA inspections since 2010 have found zero evidence that Libya has restarted a nuclear program. And the Obama administration, after Clinton left the cabinet, signed a landmark nuclear nonproliferation deal with Iran in 2015.
While Clinton still holds enormous sway among many Democratic faithful, she currently holds no position in the party from which to “step down.” But the failed 2016 presidential candidate does provide a useful foil for a candidate struggling to gain traction in a large 2020 Democratic field.