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Differentiation strategies of Park Geun-hye and Hillary Clinton

Differentiation strategies of Park Geun-hye and Hillary Clinton

Posted August. 18, 2014 02:50,   


On October 23, 2009, then lawmaker Park Geun-hye of the ruling Grand National Party (predecessor of the Saenuri Party) expressed official objection to the revision of the “Sejong administrative city plan, which then President Lee Myung-bak was pushing for through Prime Minister Chung Un-chan. At "dialogue with the people" televised on November 27 that year, Lee made public apology for the annulment of the original plan on Sejong City and expressed his commitment to revise the plan on the city, but Park remained stubborn. Three years later at the 2012 presidential election, the Democratic United Party (predecessor of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy) used "Lee Myung-bak (Park) Geun-hye" strategy in which it collectively attacked the two, but was hardly successful.

In a recent interview with the Atlantic, a Washington-based monthly current affairs magazine, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “Don’t do stupid stuff is not an organizing principle (of U.S. foreign policy).” She made the remarks to criticize President Barack Obama for pursuing foreign policy minimizing the use of military forces by calling "the U.S. intervention in all different international disputes" "stupid thing." Angry with her remarks, the White House launched counterattack against her by recalling her endorsement of the Iraq War in the past. Hillary called Obama and made an apology, saying, “the interview was not intended to attack him, his policies or his leadership.”

Former Secretary of State Clinton has been showing a critical view of President Obama, who has been reluctant to provide assistance early on to Syrian rebels. Political watchers in Washington say that Clinton, who is examining whether to run at the 2016 presidential election, has begun efforts to distance herself from Obama. Many analysts predict that Clinton will again resume attempts to criticize Obama’s policy anytime, if Obama’s approval rating shows signs of slump in the finals days of his term.

A presidential candidate’s attempt to differentiate him or her from the incumbent president cannot be necessarily helpful to the candidate’s election victory. Back in 1992 and 2002, former presidential candidates Lee Hoi-chang of the conservative Grand National Party and Chung Dong-young of the liberal United New Democratic Party had used strategies aimed at differentiating them from then Presidents Kim Young-sam and Roh Moo-hyun, respectively, but failed to win election. Roh, who inherited President Kim Dae-jung somewhat faithfully, succeeded in winning the 2002 presidential election. It remains to be seen if candidates would seek to differentiate him or her and or inherit Park’s policy from President Park around the end of the president`s term.