Right, it’s been a turbulent few months (if not a whole year, frankly), with many highs and some awful lows, but hopefully things are back on track here at JDB HQ.
The sun is shining, the birds are in the trees and the sky is blue. I’m delighted to announce that my latest academic article, ‘The Presidential Manipulation of Inherited Wars of Choice: Barack Obama’s Use of Nixonian Methods as Commander in Chief,’ will finally be published in the October edition (42/3) of Congress and the Presidency.
Even more importantly, I have signed a book contract that will continue my research into the Clinton administration. Building upon the recent success of Clinton’s Grand Strategy, I will be developing Clinton’s War on Terror for Lynne Rienner Publications, with an anticipated publication date of 2018.
I will be bringing more details of these and other projects to this web site as soon as they develop in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned!
Later today, the worst kept secret in US politics will be unveiled: Hillary Rodham Clinton, former First Lady, former Senator, former Secretary of State, will once more seek the Democratic Party’s nomination to be President of the United States.
She has been here before, of course. In 2007 she was most peoples’ expected nominee and therefore, choice to be president. Who had ever heard of this upstart from Chicago? Barack who? Never heard of him….
Some 7 years later and things are looking interesting once more for the former Goldwater Girl. She stands at a tantalizing place in her own life and in the history of her country. Unlike 7 years ago, this is undeniably her last roll of the dice. At 67, and now a grandmother, there are no more roles to play, no more election cycles to wait out in the hope of another crack at the golden ring. This is it, which is why when I have been asked repeatedly over the last 4 years, ‘Will Hillary run?’ my response has been: ‘She is already running, and why wouldn’t she? She has no where else to go, and no time to waste.’
Hillary’s opportunity in 2015 is to present the 2016 election as an opportunity to do for gender politics what Obama did for racial politics in 2008. She must make this about an opportunity to elect the first women president, not the third Bush president. In doing so, it will be fascinating to see how Hillary presents herself to the electorate. In previous campaigns she has sought to outdo her male colleagues in terms of appearance and posture: All pantsuits and policy. There are signs this may be changing. Her appearance has altered in recent weeks, and her family are currently gracing the covers of Elle and Town and Country. This is no coincidence. If Hillary campaigns as a woman, not as a politician, it will be fascinating to see if this makes her more accessible to the electorate, which was always her biggest challenge. She has the brains, but her husband has all the charm. She needs to channel as much of this as possible over the next 18 months.
Hillary’s challenge will be to overcome the mistakes of her last campaign. She was caught flat-footed by Obama’s early candidacy and by his reputation for generating a fortune from grassroots supporters (notwithstanding the far larger fortune he quietly secured from corporate America). She is clearly seeking to get out the traps early and hit the ground running in Iowa, where she will file her papers shortly. However, she must not rely upon last cycle’s technology to win next year’s election. The suggestion that she will announce her candidacy on-line, in a tweet and perhaps a video plays into the hands of those who portray her as aloof, removed from the electorate and far too much of a presumptive nominee. Retail politics is king in the primaries. If she is perceived as being the electronic candidate she will struggle and provide an opportunity for a home-grown, done-to-earth, flesh and blood candidate to emerge and inflict grave damage on her campaign. A little like happened in 1992 with a smooth, charming, ah-shucks governor from Arkansas. Who’d have thought it?
Indeed the contrast with her husband’s run in 1992 is striking. As I detail in Clinton’s Grand Strategy, Bill Clinton didn’t announce his campaign until October 1991, only a matter of months before the first votes were cast in Iowa and New Hampshire. Now, his wife is announcing her candidacy in the sun and the spring of 2015, 10 months before the polls open in the snow and ice of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Hillary’s announcement, the Tweet that Will be Heard Around The World, is her last, best shot at securing a real place in history in her own right. Not as her husbands’ wife, not as a junior senator from New York, not as Obama’s Secretary of State, but as the first Woman President of the United States. That must surely be her place in the lexicon of American politics and the journey to that auspicious place in history begins anew today….
I appeared on CNBC this morning to discuss my new book, Clinton’s Grand Strategy. I hope you enjoy what follows:
Finally…. It’s been promised for the past two years, but finally the Obama administration will today unveil its second term National Security Strategy Review document. By this point in an administration there should, technically, have been more than two to show for some six years in office. Under the Goldwater Nichols Act of 1986, the White House is mandated to release such reports on an annual basis, but since the Clinton years, no administration has done so, and the Obama administration has adopted the same schedule as its predecessor, by releasing one per term so far.
The report will be announced by the President’s Adviser for National Security Affairs, Dr Susan Rice at the Brookings Institute, where she was affiliated prior to joining the Obama team. The event is being live streamed and can be accessed HERE
I will be live tweeting on the event and invite you to follow me on twitter at @jamesdboys from 6pm London time/1pm EST.
Following the announcement I will be heading to central London to discuss the new strategy with Ian Collins in the LBC studios in Leicester Square this evening from 9-10. the program will be live streamed and can be accessed HERE
The previous 15 national security strategy reports can be accessed HERE
The White House has released the document and it can be accessed HERE
A Fact Sheet for the 2015 Report can be accessed HERE
I will be holding a series of talks over the coming months to mark the release of Clinton’s Grand Strategy. The dates for these events will be updated and uploaded as they are confirmed:
January 30: The New College of the Humanities
February 6: LBC Radio
February 24: CNBC Television
March 3: University of Northampton
March 10: RTE Radio
March 24: Global Diplomacy Forum
March 25: Richmond University, Kensington campus
March 26: King’s College London
March 27: University College London, Institute of the Americas
April 29: University of Hull
I have conducted a series of interviews to mark the imminent release of Clinton’s Grand Strategy that you may find of interest.
Interview on CNBC
Interview with The History Vault
Interview for My American Studies
Interview for The Political Studies Association
Interview for Bloomsbury
Interview for RTE Radio
Interview for The New Books Network
Clinton’s Grand Strategy: U.S. Foreign Policy in a Post-Cold War World is now available in the UK and will be released in April in the United States. It is available simultaneously in hardback, paperback and electronic formats and can be ordered NOW on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. I will be attending a series of events to mark the release and will be happy to provide signed copies upon request.
Access a special preview of the book HERE
About the Book
President Clinton’s time in office coincided with historic global events following the end of the Cold War. The collapse of Communism called for a new US Grand Strategy to address the emerging geopolitical era that brought upheavals in Somalia and the Balkans, economic challenges in Mexico and Europe and the emergence of new entities such as the EU, NAFTA and the WTO. Clinton’s handling of these events was crucial to the development of world politics at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Only by understanding Clinton’s efforts to address the challenges of the post-Cold War era can we understand the strategies of his immediate successors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both of whom inherited and continued Clinton-era policies and practices.
James D. Boys sheds new light on the evolution and execution of US Grand Strategy from 1993 to 2001. He explores the manner in which policy was devised and examines the actors responsible for its development, including Bill Clinton, Anthony Lake, Samuel Berger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke. He examines the core components of the strategy (National Security, Prosperity Promotion and Democracy Promotion) and how they were implemented, revealing a hitherto unexplored continuity from campaign trail to the White House. Covering the entire duration of Clinton’s presidential odyssey, from his 1991 Announcement Speech to his final day in office, the book draws extensively on newly declassified primary materials and interviews by the author with key members of the Clinton administration to reveal for the first time the development and implementation of US Grand Strategy from deep within the West Wing of the Clinton White House.
‘In Clinton’s Grand Strategy, James D. Boys provides a comprehensive and balanced assessment of America’s foreign policy by its first Post-Cold War president. He persuasively argues that President Clinton pursued a foreign policy that focused on “national security, prosperity promotion, and democracy promotion” and one that was more cohesive and strategic than some earlier analyses have suggested – albeit not always successful in implementation. Dr. Boys employs careful scholarship throughout, utilizes numerous interviews with key Clinton officials and critics to make his case, and writes in a clear and engaging style. In all, Clinton’s Grand Strategy is an important contribution and should prove to be a ready reference for understanding American foreign policy during a crucial decade.’
James M. McCormick,
Iowa State University, USA
‘Extending his earlier work, Dr. Boys provides a carefully-researched and well-argued analysis of the Clinton foreign policy, identifying a thoughtful and consistent grand strategy often overlooked by critics and commentators. Drawing on key documents and insightful interviews, Dr. Boys illuminates the strategic considerations that began in the 1992 presidential campaign and provides a window to understanding U.S. foreign policy in that unique period between the prolonged end of the Cold War and the now dominant and perhaps perpetual War on Terror.’
Stephen A. Smith,
Professor of Communication at the University of Arkansas, USA and former Executive Assistant to Governor Bill Clinton
Bloomsbury is a leading global publisher with offices in London, Sydney, New York, Doha and New Delhi. Bloomsbury is home to Harry Potter, Jay McInerney and the Churchill Archive. In 2013 the Academic & Professional Division was awarded two Independent Publishers Guild awards: Independent Publisher of the Year and Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year. The division was also shortlisted for two Bookseller Industry Awards: Academic, Educational & Professional Publisher of the Year and Digital Strategy of the Year.