President Obama won’t endorse Vice President Joe Biden’s pursuit of the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, according to his top political strategist, who also suggested that outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton couldn’t be beaten in 2016.
“There’s no doubt that he has great respect for her and great respect for the vice president, but it seems to me that he would let the people decide,” David Axelrod told the Wall Street Journal when asked about Obama’s position on a showdown between Biden and Clinton.
Maybe Obama doesn’t want to back a loser: an Iowa poll this week showed Clinton with a 51-point lead over Biden in the 2016 Iowa caucuses. Axelrod said that Clinton would win the election.
“The historical impetus behind the candidacy of someone who would be the first woman president – which was trumped in 2008 by the Obama candidacy – would not be trumped in 2016, I don’t think,” Axelrod predicted.
Obama gave Clinton a lot of credit for his foreign policy accomplishments. “For us to be able to wind down one war, to be on the path of ending a second war, to do that in a way that honors the enormous sacrifices our troops have made, to sustain the pressure on al Qaeda and terrorist organizations so that not only did we avoid a significant terrorist attack on the homeland, but we’re able to dismantle the core leadership of al Qaeda,” he said on 60 Minutes. “That’s all a consequence of the great work that Hillary did and her team did and the State Department did in conjunction with our national security team.”
When CBS’s Steve Kroft asked “what’s the date of expiration on this endorsement,” Obama dodged the question. “You guys in the press are incorrigible,” Obama replied. “I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.”