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Clinton and White House try to shrug off policy split

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. — In another twist in their complex and heavily scrutinized relationship, Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama did their best to shrug off their differences Wednesday as they gathered on Martha's Vineyard after a foreign policy disagreement.

Obama's spokesman said the White House "is looking onwards and upwards," while Clinton joked she was planning on hugging it off with her former boss at a party on the upscale getaway where the president was vacationing.

"We have disagreements, as any partners and friends, as we are, might very well have," Clinton told reporters crowded into a bookstore signing of her memoir, Hard Choices. ''But I'm proud that I served with him and for him, and I'm looking forward to seeing him tonight."

Clinton made her first public comments since a flap emerged over her interview with the Atlantic magazine in which she seemed to try to set herself apart from the unpopular Obama as she heads toward a possible 2016 White House bid.

"Great nations need organizing principles, and 'don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle," she said in the interview, referring to a version of the phrase Obama and his advisers have used privately to describe his approach to foreign policy. Clinton described a more aggressive approach she would take in places like Syria and, generally, the Mideast.

Her critiques came at a particularly challenging time for Obama, with bombs falling on Iraq and disputes raging in the Mideast, Ukraine and elsewhere. It was her biggest split with Obama since their 2008 presidential primary campaign.

Clinton and White House try to shrug off policy split 08/13/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 10:16pm]
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