David Axelrod thinks Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the Democratic Party's presidential front-runner in 2016, and that isn't news. What does grab attention is the extent to which President Obama's political guru on Thursday made it clear that Clinton would be nearly unbeatable in a Democratic primary.
He didn't outright declare her the inevitable nominee, but he came awfully close.
"I think she'd be very strong," Axelrod said at a National Journal policy summit. "First of all, having been engaged in a primary race with her ... she is an indefatigable candidate and very, very powerful and she's only stronger now for having four years of I think splendid leadership" as secretary of State.
He added: "I think she'd be in a very, very strong position," he said. "I think the reality of a woman getting elected the president of the United States may be an even more powerful incentive in 2016."
The geyser of praise wasn't necessary. Axelrod could have said she would be a front-runner, which is self-evident, but added the usual caveat that a lot can happen in politics in four years. He could have opted to stay out of the impending intraparty squabble.
But he didn't. He sounded less like a cool-headed political analyst than a Clinton supporter telling his favored candidate why she would be a great choice for the party.