- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Political adviser David Axelrod told Barack Obama prior to the 2008 Democratic presidential primary that rival Hillary Rodham Clinton was not a “healing figure” and would have difficulty convincing voters that she was as a candidate of the future.

Mr. Axelrod’s memoir, released Tuesday, includes a 12-page strategic memo written for Mr. Obama after Thanksgiving 2006, when the then-senator from Illinois was gearing up for his presidential campaign.

The Chicago adviser wrote: “Hillary… and her team have played this course many times before. They know every bunker, sand trap and the lay of the greens. And she has the best caddy in the business. But for all of her advantages, she is not a healing figure. … The more she tries to moderate her image, the more she … compounds her exposure as an opportunist.”

And in an observation that could have implications for Mrs. Clinton’s anticipated presidential bid in 2016, Mr. Axelrod wrote nearly 10 years ago: “After two decades of the Bush-Clinton saga, making herself the candidate of the future will be a challenge.”

Mr. Axelrod’s memoir, “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics,” was published Tuesday by Penguin Press.

In interviews promoting his book this week, Mr. Axelrod said Mrs. Clinton will need to run “like an insurgent” in 2016.

“She needs a very well-conceived message about where she wants to lead the country,” he said. “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.”

The Republican National Committee said Tuesday that Mrs. Clinton is behaving like someone “in hiding” as the 2016 campaign begins to heat up.

“She’s made a strategic decision that the only way to ensure she is the Democratic nominee is to make everyone think she’s inevitable,” said RNC spokesman Sean Spicer. “The last time she had to face voters and actually compete for the nomination, she lost to a newcomer. She doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice.”

The RNC said it will be keeping a tally “of just how secretive she’s been,” including:

Days since last press conference: 202

Days since she’s done an interview: 184

Days since she’s been in Iowa: 103

Days since she’s been in New Hampshire: 100

Days since she’s done an event that didn’t require significant speaking fees: 69


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