The problem with Clinton’s approach is that it overlooks the reality that many voters, particularly those on the left wing of the Democratic Party, but also some Republicans and others as well, are not happy with the conduct of American foreign policy in recent years, or indeed decades. Bernie Sanders was unable to fully exploit this the primary because he was woefully unprepared to discuss most issues of foreign policy. Nonetheless, the Clinton campaign should be aware that many Democrats support her in spite of, not because of, her record as Secretary of State.
Stability is the last refuge of many non-democratic leaders, but there’s little evidence that these leaders can ensure stability in their own countries or internationally. As Rice pointed out, supporting stability over democracy in the Middle East has often led to greater instability. The Shah was supposed to bring stability to Iran and to the region at large, but many of the region’s current problems are actually linked to that regime and to U.S support. Throughout the Arab world, authoritarian regimes have also shown that they are unable to deliver stability. This isn’t only true in the Muslim world. Does anybody think that the strongman regime of Vladimir Putin has brought stability to the former Soviet Union? Stability in Russia itself is far from guaranteed, particularly given recent events in the North Caucasus.