The next president has an opportunity in the Middle East to reassure wavering allies, to tell them: "We're back and we're going to lead again."
That sounds like something you might hear this month in an alternate reality, from the Rubio-Cheney campaign. After all, President Barack Obama would argue that he is already leading in the Middle East.
But that is a quote from Michael Morell, a former deputy and acting director of the CIA and an adviser to Hillary Clinton's campaign. He said this on Tuesday at the Center for American Progress, a think tank founded by the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, and headed today by the policy director of the 2008 Clinton campaign, Neera Tanden.
Morell, who is likely to be tapped for a senior post in a Clinton administration, outlined a more robust role for the U.S. to counter Iran in the Middle East. For example, Morell said the U.S. should consider a new set of sanctions against Iran to punish its "malign behavior in the region." The Obama administration, on the other hand, has opposed efforts from Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran after the nuclear deal that lifted many of them.