According to Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic, Obama didn’t take too kindly to Clinton’s assertion in 2014 that the White House’s foreign policy credo—“don’t do stupid shit”—was not “an organizing principle” worthy of a great nation.
Obama became “rip-shit angry,” according to one of his senior advisers. The president did not understand how “Don’t do stupid shit” could be considered a controversial slogan. Ben Rhodes recalls that “the questions we were asking in the White House were ‘Who exactly is in the stupid-shit caucus? Who is pro–stupid shit?’ ” The Iraq invasion, Obama believed, should have taught Democratic interventionists like Clinton, who had voted for its authorization, the dangers of doing stupid shit.
The (very long) piece is full of behind-the-scenes glimpses into the major foreign policy decisions of Obama’s tenure. But in another problematic moment for Clinton, Obama also said the U.S.’s intervention in Libya was basically a mistake. “It didn’t work,” he told Goldberg, presenting Libya as the exception that proved the rule about not doing stupid shit. Clinton, of course, was among those in his administration who supported the intervention.