Perry Bacon: Failed Obama/Clinton Foreign Policy One Reason Hillary's Not Emphasizing Her Heading State Dept.

June 15th, 2015 9:44 PM

In what amounted as the only significant whiff of criticism of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday's Hardball program, NBC News senior political reporter Perry Bacon noted that the failure of Obama/Clinton foreign policy was the reason that Clinton is not emphasizing her four years at Foggy Bottom on the campaign trail.

Bacon offered this assessment after a perplexed Chris Matthews asked why Hillary didn't hype her experience in the Obama Cabinet as part of her pitch for being elected president.

Here's the relevant transcript: 

June 15, 2015 

ERIN McPIKE, political journalist: One of the things that people forget is back when President Obama was running as a senator in 2007, 2008 he had less experience at the time, but there was some concern in the electorate that Hillary Clinton wasn't all that qualified either. But fast forward, you know, eight years she's had four years as secretary of state which is the single most qualifying credential that anyone could have. She could run on experience.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Here's a good question: Why doesn't she talk about it at all?

McPIKE: She didn't learn the lesson in total. 

MATTHEWS: How come she never mentioned it?

PERRY BACON, NBC News: In the last campaign. 

MATTHEWS: She never mentioned she's secretary of state over the weekend. 

BACON: Oh, oh, because, well, two reasons. First of all, Democrats tend to care about the economy, Social Security and things like that more. Second of all, let's be blunt: the Obama/Clinton foreign policy is not something to brag about I would argue -- the growth of ISIS, the failures in Iraq. I think in terms of you're Hillary Clinton running for president, talking about income inequality is an issue where you're winning on. Notice how much Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz talk about foreign policy. There's a weakness there.

HOWARD FINEMAN, Huffington Post Group: It's not only that. She wants to run as an outsider. She doesn't want to talk about Secretary of State or the White House or the Senate.

McPIKE: It's a mistake. It's a mistake.

FINEMAN: She wants to talk about her mom and how she grew up.

MATTHEWS: And [also running on the theme] I'm a woman and you're not.