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David Axelrod: Hillary Must Act Like 'Insurgent' on Campaign Trail

Image: David Axelrod: Hillary Must Act Like 'Insurgent' on Campaign Trail
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By    |   Monday, 09 Feb 2015 09:01 AM

If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decides to run for president, she must run like "an insurgent," despite being the presumed Democratic front-runner, said David Axelrod, the former campaign strategist for President Barack Obama.

In his memoir, "Believer: My Forty Years in Politics," Axelrod recalls the missteps Clinton made in 2008 when she was the front-runner, but ended up losing the nomination to Obama, according to USA Today.

"What she can't rely on, and I don't think she will, is the Clinton name, although the Clinton name trades very high in American politics," Axelrod told Capital Download in an interview at his office at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics, according to USA Today.

"Americans are always about the future. Bill Clinton was famously the one who said that, and he was right. So she needs a very well-conceived message about where she wants to lead the country. If she doesn't have that, then it does become a problem ...

"I think she has to approach this campaign like a challenger, not like a front-runner — like an insurgent."

He said that part of Clinton's strategy must be an effort to connect with voters in a vulnerable and approachable way.

Her Washington experience, Axelrod added, could be seen as an asset on the campaign trail.

"Her status as someone who had worked within Washington and who was familiar with Washington was actually a liability" then, Axelrod said, according to USA Today.

But after Obama, he said, "people are going to be looking, as they always do, not for the replica but for the remedy. They're going to want someone who knows how to manage the system, navigate the system, and I think her skill set and her background are probably better for this campaign than they were for the last."

Axelrod also said that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would be a formidable opponent to Clinton in 2016.

"Jeb Bush, obviously, is someone who's supported immigration reform, who supported education reform. If he can stick to his guns and hold those positions, I don't think we Democrats can take our tactical advantages for granted.

"I don't think having demographic advantages and the kind of advantages that we've counted on in the past few elections are enough," he said, according to USA Today.

Axelrod dismissed Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker as "the flavor of the month," who "gave a great speech at a little meeting in Iowa" but is untested on the national stage, USA Today said.

Axelrod portrays Obama in an overwhelmingly positive way, according to USA Today, but expresses frustration about Obama's tendency to separate campaigning from governing.

"I think he likes people, [but] I don't know that he likes the politics of Washington very much," Axelrod said, according to USA Today.

"He doesn't always deal well with people who don't share his view that winning elections isn't the most important thing, that getting big things done is the most important thing."

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Politics
If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decides to run for president, she must run like "an insurgent," despite being the presumed Democratic front-runner, said David Axelrod, the former campaign strategist for President Barack Obama.
hillary, 2016, democrats, campaign, jeb bush
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2015-01-09
Monday, 09 Feb 2015 09:01 AM
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