Axelrod: Hillary is in a "very, very strong position" for 2016

The 2016 speculation is already going strong on both sides of the aisle, and while the Republicans have a pretty deep and dynamic bench set to go, the Democrats’ options for star power are going to be pretty thin on the ground. She keeps saying she has no interest in even going there and just wants a chance to enjoy her retirement, but not everyone’s convinced that that’s an honest-to-goodness answer and it hasn’t stopped the effusiveness coming in from all sides.

David Axelrod thinks Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the Democratic Party’s presidential front-runner in 2016, and that isn’t news. What does grab attention is the extent to which President Obama’s political guru on Thursday made it clear that Clinton would be nearly unbeatable in a Democratic primary.

He didn’t outright declare her the inevitable nominee, but he came awfully close.

“I think she’d be very strong,” Axelrod said at a National Journal policy summit. “First of all, having been engaged in a primary race with her … she is an indefatigable candidate and very, very powerful and she’s only stronger now for having four years of I think splendid leadership” as secretary of State.

He added: “I think she’d be in a very, very strong position,” he said. “I think the reality of a woman getting elected the president of the United States may be an even more powerful incentive in 2016.”

The Democrats will very likely need an exceptionally heavy hitter to win a third presidential election against a probably strong GOP contender — they need her, and they seem to know it. Her path might not be as smooth as many presume, but there’s going to be enormous pressure on her to run. Will she be able to resist? Or have all of these displays of disinterest always been just for show?

And she’s got a lot of different things that she can do, but I think the pressure on her to run for president is going to be enormous because I’ve not met a single Democrat that’s not said let Hillary run in 2016. We don’t want a primary. Let’s just go get this thing done. That’s the attitude across the country. And I think she’s going to hear that. In fact, I know she is. The people asking her and the pressure on her to run is going to be enormous.