President Barack Obama’s former top adviser conceded that voters in 2016 may be fed up with Obama’s dithering and want a president who projects a sense of certainty.
“Even when a president is popular, people tend to seek the remedy and not the replica. They want someone who has the qualities that they miss in the president,” Axelrod said during a Thursday Wall Street Journal event. “This tends to be a pendular thing. I think in 2016 people are going to want someone who is a little less nuanced and a little less attuned to the complexity, someone who projects more of a sense of black and white certainty.”
Obama, promising more nuance, often criticized former President George W. Bush’s “black and white” worldview in 2008, along with the left-wing, anti-war left. Obama ran as much against Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy” in 2008 as he did against GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). But Obama’s critics have accused him of dithering and being aloof on a range of important foreign policy issues regarding Iraq, Syria, Israel, and ISIS, just to name a few.
Axelrod also did his best to spin for Hillary Clinton, the potential 2016 candidate whom he claimed the environment would favor because “she tends to be someone who speaks in simple, declarative sentences with great certainty.”
Axelrod, who was the mastermind behind Obama’s “turn the page” campaign against the Clintons in the 2008 Democratic primary, left the White House to run the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.