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Axelrod: Hillary Would Have Embraced ‘Divisive Politics’ As President

Hillary Clinton would have embraced divisive politics and failed to change Washington if she had won in 2008, according to former chief Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod.

“She was too much a part of the system in Washington ever to change it — and without changing the politics of Washington, real solutions to big problems would never come,” Axelrod writes in “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics,” according to excerpts obtained by Business Insider.

“She had pressed her advantage on Washington experience and gamely parried our call for change by embracing the word. Yet the ‘change’ Hillary was offering was not much change at all — certainly not a move away from the raw, divisive politics that had come to define Washington,” he writes. “Rather, she seemed to revel in those politics.”

“The change she was offering was not away from Washington’s habit of parsing words and passing on tough issues,” he continued. “(She habitually sought safe harbor.) The change she was offering was not away from a system dominated by PACs and corporate lobbyists. (She had taken their money and vocally defended their work.)”

“The only real change she was offering was in political parties, and that simply wasn’t enough.”

Obama and Hillary’s relationship in 2008 was tumultuous, and the Clintons were left “wounded and seething” following the campaign, Axelrod writes, but Obama worked hard to bring them “back into the fold.”

Hillary only accepted a position as secretary of state after repeated offers from Obama, but their “warm partnership” would become “one of the inspiring subplots of my time in the administration,” Axelrod writes.

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