Hillary Clinton continued to tread a careful line about the US position to Hosni Mubarak on the morning talk shows. Asked directly whether the US was distancing itself from the Egyptian leader, she answered: "We don't want to send any message about backing forward or backing away." She said his future “is going to be up to the Egyptian people,” adding that whatever happens to him specifically, the nation needs an "orderly transition" to "real democracy." She called for a dialogue with protesters, taking care to compliment the military as a "respected institution."
Some examples of how it's being parsed:
- New York Times: "Her phrasing seemed to imply an eventual end to Mr. Mubarak’s 30 years in power," perhaps in the already scheduled fall elections.
- Politico: She "continued the Obama administration’s careful but unmistakable move away from" Mubarak by "declining to repeat her assessment that the Egyptian government is 'stable,' and instead pressing for a move to democracy in the largest Arab country."
- Los Angeles Times: She "made clear that the United States was not demanding that embattled President Hosni Mubarak step down in the face of continuing demonstrations."
- Mediaite has a video clip.