The former senior White House adviser and close confidant to President Obama proved as much on Tuesday with a jab at Hillary Clinton's foreign policy record.
"Just to clarify: 'Don't do stupid stuff' means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision," Axelrod tweeted.
Just to clarify: "Don't do stupid stuff" means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 12, 2014
The tweet was a response to Clinton's recent interview with The Atlantic, in which the former secretary of state criticized the Obama administration's foreign policy maxim.
“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle," Clinton told Jeffrey Goldberg.
The back-and-forth has echoes of the tense 2008 Democratic primary battle between Clinton and Obama — and Axelrod's tweet highlighted what was perhaps the deciding issue of that campaign.
Obama's opposition to the Iraq War as an Illinois state senator appealed to many Democratic voters and allowed him to distinguish himself from Clinton, who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
Axelrod did not respond to TPM's request for comment.
Earlier this year, he urged Democratic donors to focus on the 2014 midterms rather than the 2016 presidential race in what was perceived by many as a shot at Clinton. But Axelrod insisted that wasn't the case.
"It's not about Hillary, who probably wishes-or should-that a lot of this activity would just stop for now," Axelrod told TPM in an email in February. "But Democrats face a very serious challenge in '14, and if they cede the terrain to the Koch Brothers in service of '16, they put Senate at risk."