Because Americans are less afraid and because Republicans have abandoned the foreign policy center, Democrats need not worry that Obama will suffer the fate of George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale or John Kerry. He won't lose because he looks weak. The greater danger is that he will change positions in a bid to look strong -- as he recently did on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- and come across as inauthentic and insincere. As Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin have noted, the Democrats' biggest political liability is not that Americans believe they are too liberal but rather that they believe that Democrats don't stand for anything at all. On foreign policy, Obama has a chance to change that: to articulate a vision based on the principles of global cooperation and human dignity that animated Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. He shouldn't be deterred by fears of being called soft. Those fears are the echoes of a bygone age.(Emphasis mine).
It was supposedly Hillary's fear of being portrayed as "weak" that forced her to adopt a more "hawkish" position. This, of course, allowed Obama to attract the left-wing of the party, and arguably led to Obama's winning the Democratic nomination.
Some would argue that her sin was in adopting a General Election strategy before she wrapped-up the nomination.
Still, it is interesting to consider whether or not Obama is essentially now running on Hillary's primary platform, rather than his own.