Axelrod: Hillary Has ‘Given Oxygen’ to E-mail Story

Former Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod stated that “there’s no doubt that” Hillary Clinton has “given oxygen” to the controversy over her e-mails on Monday’s “MSNBC Live.”

Axelrod said that while no one can determine what the long-term impact of the story will be, “there’s no doubt that she’s given oxygen to this story by not just coming out and forthrightly saying ‘this is why we did it, this is how these e-mails were secured,’ and answering the other questions, so, as to kind of get past this. And there is a tendency — and you heard james kind of — he represents a philosophy here, having been through a lot of this, that you kind of Bogart your way through it, you play rope-a-dope and let your opponent punch themselves out and then the whole thing passes. And that makes a lot of folks nervous because, the presumption is she will be the nominee, and we want her to be — those who support her want her to be a strong nominee, but this is a — an ongoing concern.”

Axelrod continued, “I presume that all of the e-mails that she wrote that pertain to government business are already part of the government record because she was e-mailing people within the government, but this is one of the questions that she has to answer.”

He also argued that “she’s a quasi-candidate, but she’s not a candidate. She doesn’t have a campaign in place yet. She doesn’t have a communications structure in place yet, and that may explain some of the clumsy handling of this issue, and she may become more nimble as time goes on, but that doesn’t solve the problem right now.”

Axelrod concluded that while the e-mail story wouldn’t destroy Clinton’s candidacy and isn’t an issue that impacts everyday voters, the Clinton team did need to do a better job addressing it and not have a “rope-a-dope,” communication strategy “if she’s going to be successful.”

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