Here's David Axelrod, chief strategist for President Obama's 2008 campaign, telling us his thoughts about once and future presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:
I think what happened was that once she lost the Iowa caucuses, she threw caution to the wind and in 2008 I think she was a very good candidate...terrified me really... because she made visceral connections with people.
She tended to be very cautious in 2007 when she was the prohibitive frontrunner and she threw all that away in 2008 and she really got ground level with people and connected with them around their struggles and concerns and was a very effective candidate.
If she's that candidate in 2016, I think she's gonna be hard to beat.He's dead on, of course, and we can only speculate about the unseen parallel universe in which the Hillary of 2008 emerged a couple of months ahead of schedule to eke out a narrow win in Iowa.
But the past is history, and those who don't learn are doomed to repeat it. Luckily, according to longtime Democratic consultant Chris Lehane, the early signs for 2016 are good:
“Based on the green shoots we are seeing from her to date, the Hillary Clinton we saw in the second half of the 2008 campaign — when she ran the table despite being mathematically eliminated — is the Hillary Clinton we are going to see in 2016.”You know who else from 2008 that I'd like to see in 2016? David Axelrod...working for Hillary.
If he does, he'd certainly be in good company.