Axelrod: You Hear 'Ready for Hillary.' It's Like, Ready for What?

December 16, 2014

Close confidant of President Obama and former White House senior adviser David Axelrod spoke on possible presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton on Morning Joe Tuesday.

Axelrod said that Warren is working as a foil for Clinton, forcing her to shape her opinions in a particular frame. However, Clinton has remained silent.

"My suspicion is what she's doing is trying to influence how Hillary frames her candidacy and the issues she focuses on," Axelrod said. "I think she's sincere about her concerns of what's happening in the American economy. And Hillary hasn't said yet what her program will be, what she's running on.

"I think Elizabeth knows she's got maximum leverage by still being in the conversation."

Host Joe Scarborough expressed his frustration with all of the talk about Clinton as a presidential candidate, even though no one knows what kind of platform she would run on.

"David, isn’t this a problem about Hillary: You don't know what Hillary stands for; I don't know what Hillary stands for," Scarborough said. "Democrats – the Democratic base, the Democratic wing of Democratic Party doesn't know what Hillary stands for. She's so careful. She's so cautious. She's so Clinton-esque. It's got to drive the base crazy."

Axelrod agreed, saying that Clinton is biding her time and trying to figure out what she stands for.

"And what happened in 2008 was that Hillary's candidacy got out in front of any rationale for it," Axelrod said. "And the danger is that's happening again. You hear 'Ready for Hillary.' It's like, ready for what?"

"And now Hillary's task is to define what it is that she's running for and running about and what would the future look like under another President Clinton, and I suspect that what's she's taking her time working through now. But she has to answer that question."