Axelrod in 2015
|Senior Advisor to the President|
January 20, 2009 –January 10, 2011
|Preceded by||Barry Jackson|
|Succeeded by||David Plouffe|
|Born||February 22, 1955|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Susan Landau (1979–present)|
|Education||University of Chicago (BA)|
David M. Axelrod (born February 22, 1955) is an American political consultant and analyst, best known for being the Chief Strategist for Barack Obama's presidential campaigns.
Barack Hussein Obama II is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to be elected to the presidency. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008.
After Obama's election, Axelrod was appointed as Senior Advisor to the President.Axelrod left the White House position in early 2011 and became the Senior Strategist for Obama's successful re-election campaign in 2012. He currently serves as the director of the non-partisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and is a Senior Political Commentator for CNN.
Senior Advisor to the President is a title used by high-ranking assistants to the President of the United States. White House Senior Advisors are senior members of the White House Office. The title has been used formally since 1993.
The Institute of Politics is an extracurricular, nonpartisan institute at the University of Chicago designed to inspire students to pursue careers in politics and public service. The Institute accomplishes its goals through four major avenues: A civic engagement program, where students take part in community service projects and gain leadership skills, a fellows program that hosts a group of political and policy professionals to lead seminars for an academic quarter, a speaker series featuring public events with a diverse array of political figures, and a career development program featuring hundreds of internships in government, politics and policy. It was formally established in 2013 with David Axelrod, who was President Barack Obama's chief campaign advisor, as its director.
Cable News Network (CNN) is an American news-based pay television channel owned by Turner Broadcasting System, a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia. CNN was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner as a 24-hour cable news channel. Upon its launch, CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage, and was the first all-news television channel in the United States.
He is a former political writer for the Chicago Tribune , and the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Believer, My Forty Years in Politics, [ citation needed ]which was published in 2015.
The Chicago Tribune is a daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, owned by Tribune Publishing. Founded in 1847, and formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper", it remains the most-read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region. It is the eighth-largest newspaper in the United States by circulation.
Axelrod was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, and grew up in its Stuyvesant Town area. He was raised in a liberal Jewish family.His mother, Myril Bennett (née Davidson), was a journalist at PM, a liberal-leaning 1940s newspaper, and later an advertising executive at Young & Rubicam. His father, Joseph Axelrod, was a psychologist and avid baseball fan, who migrated from Eastern Europe to the United States at the age of eleven. He attended Public School 40 in Manhattan. Axelrod's parents separated when he was eight years old. Axelrod traces his political involvement back to his childhood. Describing the appeal of politics, he told the Los Angeles Times , "I got into politics because I believe in idealism. Just to be a part of this effort that seems to be rekindling the kind of idealism that I knew when I was a kid, it's a great thing to do. So I find myself getting very emotional about it." At thirteen years old, he was selling campaign buttons for Robert F. Kennedy. After graduating from New York's Stuyvesant High School in 1972, Axelrod attended the University of Chicago, where he majored in political science.
The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan, roughly located between the Bowery and the East River, and Canal Street and Houston Street. Traditionally an immigrant, working class neighborhood, it began rapid gentrification in the mid-2000s, prompting the National Trust for Historic Preservation to place the neighborhood on their list of America's Most Endangered Places.
Manhattan, often referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
The City of New York, often called New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
As an undergraduate, Axelrod wrote for the Hyde Park Herald , covering politics, and earned an internship at the Chicago Tribune . He lost his father to suicide in 1977, around the time of his graduation.While at the University of Chicago he met his future wife, business student Susan Landau (daughter of research doctor Richard L. Landau), and they married in 1979. In June 1981, their first child, a daughter, was diagnosed with epilepsy at seven months of age.
The Hyde Park Herald is a weekly newspaper that serves the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.
Richard L. Landau was a leader in endocrinology research at the University of Chicago. He published more than 90 papers and served as a member of the editorial board at the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by epileptic seizures. Epileptic seizures are episodes that can vary from brief and nearly undetectable periods to long periods of vigorous shaking. These episodes can result in physical injuries, including occasionally broken bones. In epilepsy, seizures tend to recur and, as a rule, have no immediate underlying cause. Isolated seizures that are provoked by a specific cause such as poisoning are not deemed to represent epilepsy. People with epilepsy may be treated differently in various areas of the world and experience varying degrees of social stigma due to their condition.
The Chicago Tribune hired Axelrod after his graduation from college. He worked there for eight years, covering national, state and local politics, becoming their youngest political writer in 1981. At 27, he became the City Hall Bureau Chief and a political columnist for the paper.He left the Tribune and joined the campaign of U.S. Senator Paul Simon as communications director in 1984. Within weeks he was promoted to co-campaign manager.
Paul Martin Simon was an American author and politician from Illinois. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 1985, and in the United States Senate from 1985 to 1997. A member of the Democratic Party, he unsuccessfully ran for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.
In 1985, Axelrod formed the political consultancy firm, Axelrod & Associates. In 1987 he worked on the successful reelection campaign of Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor, while spearheading Simon's campaign for the 1988 Democratic Presidential nomination. This established his experience in working with black politicians; he later became a key player in similar mayoral campaigns of black candidates, including Dennis Archer in Detroit, Michael R. White in Cleveland, Anthony A. Williams in Washington, D.C., Lee P. Brown in Houston, and John F. Street in Philadelphia.Axelrod is a longtime strategist for the former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and styles himself a "specialist in urban politics." The Economist notes he also specializes in "packaging black candidates for white voters".
In January 1990, Axelrod was hired to be the media consultant for the all but official re-election campaign of Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt.However, Goldschmidt announced in February that he would not seek re-election. Axelrod was retained by the Liberal Party of Ontario to help Dalton McGuinty and his party in 2002 to be elected into government in the October 2003 election. Axelrod's effect on Ontario was heard through the winning Liberal appeal to "working families" and placing an emphasis on positive policy contrasts like canceling corporate tax breaks to fund education and health.
In 2004, Axelrod worked for John Edwards' presidential campaign. He lost responsibility for making ads, but continued as the campaign's spokesman. Regarding Edwards' failed 2004 presidential campaign, Axelrod has commented, "I have a whole lot of respect for John, but at some point the candidate has to close the deal and—I can’t tell you why—that never happened with John."
Axelrod contributed an op-ed to the Chicago Tribune in defense of patronage after two top officials in the administration of longtime client Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley were arrested for what federal prosecutors described as "pervasive fraud" in City Hall hiring and promotions.In 2006, he consulted for several campaigns, including the successful campaigns of Eliot Spitzer in New York's gubernatorial election and Deval Patrick in Massachusetts's gubernatorial election. Axelrod served in 2006 as the chief political adviser for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel for the U.S. House of Representatives elections, in which the Democrats gained 31 seats.
He was an Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, where, along with Professor Peter Miller, he taught an undergraduate class titled Campaign Strategy, analyzing political campaigns, and their strategies.On June 14 2009 he received an honorary "Doctor of Humane Letters" degree from DePaul University, speaking at the commencement exercises of the College of Communication and College of Computing and Digital Media.
Axelrod first met Obama in 1992, when Bettylu Saltzman, a Chicago democrat, introduced the two of them after Obama had impressed her at a black voter registration drive that he ran. Obama consulted Axelrod before he delivered a 2002 anti-war speech,and asked him to read drafts of his book, The Audacity of Hope .
Axelrod contemplated taking a break from politics during the 2008 presidential campaign, as five of the candidates—Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Tom Vilsack—were past clients. Personal ties between Axelrod and Hillary Clinton made it difficult, as she had raised significant funds for epilepsy on behalf of a foundation co-founded by Axelrod's wife and mother, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). (Axelrod's daughter suffers from developmental disabilities associated with chronic epileptic seizures.) Axelrod's wife even said that a 1999 conference Clinton convened to find a cure for the condition was "one of the most important things anyone has done for epilepsy."Axelrod ultimately decided to participate in the Obama campaign, and served as chief strategist and media advisor for Obama. He told The Washington Post, "I thought that if I could help Barack Obama get to Washington, then I would have accomplished something great in my life."
Axelrod contributed to the initial announcement of Obama's campaign by creating a five-minute Internet video released January 16, 2007.He continued to use "man on the street"-style biographical videos to create intimacy and authenticity in the political ads.
While the Clinton campaign chose a strategy that emphasized experience, Axelrod helped to craft the Obama campaign's main theme of "change." Axelrod criticized the Clinton campaign's positioning by saying that "being the consummate Washington insider is not where you want to be in a year when people want change...[Clinton's] initial strategic positioning was wrong and kind of played into our hands."The change message played a factor in Obama's victory in the Iowa caucuses. "Just over half of [Iowa's] Democratic caucus-goers said change was the No. 1 factor they were looking for in a candidate, and 51 percent of those voters chose Barack Obama," said CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider. "That compares to only 19 percent of 'change' caucus-goers who preferred Clinton." Axelrod also believed that the Clinton campaign underestimated the importance of the caucus states. "For all the talent and the money they had over there," says Axelrod, "they—bewilderingly—seemed to have little understanding for the caucuses and how important they would become." In the 2008 primary season, Obama won a majority of the states that use the caucus format.
Axelrod is credited with implementing a strategy that encourages the participation of people, a lesson drawn partly from Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign as well as a personal goal of Barack Obama. Axelrod explained to Rolling Stone , "When we started this race, Barack told us that he wanted the campaign to be a vehicle for involving people and giving them a stake in the kind of organizing he believed in. According to Axelrod getting volunteers involved became the legacy of the campaign "This includes drawing on "Web 2.0" technology and viral media to support a grassroots strategy. Obama's web platform allows supporters to blog, create their own personal page, and even phonebank from home. Axelrod's elaborate use of the Internet helped Obama to organize under-30 voters and build over 475,000 donors in 2007, most of whom were Internet donors contributing less than $100 each. The Obama strategy stood in contrast to Hillary Clinton's campaign, which benefited from high name recognition, large donors and strong support among established Democratic leaders.
Politico described Axelrod as 'soft-spoken' and 'mild-mannered'and it quoted one Obama aide in Chicago as saying, "Do you know how lucky we are that he is our Mark Penn?" Democratic consultant and former colleague Dan Fee said of Axelrod, "He's a calming presence." "He's not a screamer, like some of these guys," political advisor Bill Daley said of Axelrod in the Chicago Tribune. "He has a good sense of humor, so he's able to defuse things." In June 2008, The New York Times described Axelrod as a "campaign guru" with an "appreciation for Chicago-style politics."
On November 20, 2008, Obama named Axelrod as a senior advisor to his administration. His role included crafting policy and communicating the President's message in coordination with President Obama, the Obama Administration, speechwriters, and the White House communications team.
Axelrod left his White House senior advisor post on January 28, 2011. He was a top aide to Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.Axelrod also stated that his job as Obama's chief campaign strategist in the 2012 campaign would be his final job as a political operative.
In January 2013, Axelrod established a bipartisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, where he serves as director.On January 23, 2013, La Stampa reported that Axelrod was helping Italian prime minister Mario Monti with his election campaign and had flown to Italy to meet with Monti ten days earlier. Monti's coalition went on to come fourth with 10.5% of the vote in the Italian general election, 2013. On February 19, 2013, Axelrod joined NBC News and MSNBC as a senior political analyst, a position he held until September 2015 when he moved to CNN.
In 2014 Axelrod was appointed senior strategic adviser to the British Labour Party to assist party leader Ed Miliband in the run-up to the 2015 general election.
He is the founder of AKPD Message and Media, and operated ASK Public Strategies, now called ASGK Public Strategies, which were sold in 2009. In Feb. 2015 Axelrod's book Believer: My Forty Years in Politics was published. [ not in citation given ]
In 2015, Axelrod began hosting a podcast titled The Axe Files. He joined CNN as a senior political commentator in September 2015.
Rahm Israel Emanuel is an American politician serving as the 44th and current Mayor of Chicago since 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 23rd White House Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2010.
David Plouffe is an American political strategist best known as the campaign manager for Barack Obama's successful 2008 presidential campaign. A long-time Democratic Party campaign consultant, he was a partner at the party-aligned campaign consulting firm AKPD Message and Media, which he joined in 2000.
The 2008 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection processes by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois was selected as the nominee, becoming the first African-American to secure the presidential nomination of any major political party in the United States. However, due to a close race between Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, the contest remained competitive for longer than expected, and neither candidate received enough pledged delegates from state primaries and caucuses to achieve a majority, without endorsements from unpledged delegates (superdelegates).
The following is a timeline of major events leading up to and immediately following the United States presidential election of 2008. The election was the 56th quadrennial United States presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008, but its significant events and background date back to about 2002. The Democratic Party nominee, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, defeated the Republican Party's nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona.
On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama, then-junior United States Senator from Illinois, announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States in Springfield, Illinois. Obama announced his candidacy at the Old State Capitol building, where Abraham Lincoln had delivered his "House Divided" speech. Obama was the main challenger, along with John Edwards, to front-runner Hillary Clinton for much of 2007. He had only recently emerged as a national figure in Democratic politics, having delivered the DNC keynote address just three years prior and won his Senate election shortly thereafter.
The 2008 presidential campaign of John Edwards, former United States Senator from North Carolina and Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004 began on December 28, 2006 when he announced his entry into the 2008 presidential election in the city of New Orleans near sites devastated by Hurricane Katrina. On January 30, 2008, Edwards returned to New Orleans to announce that he was suspending his campaign for the Presidency. On May 14, 2008, he endorsed Barack Obama at a campaign event in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The 2008 United States presidential election in Iowa took place on November 4, 2008, in Iowa, as part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 7 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
The United States Senate career of Barack Obama began on January 3, 2005 and ended on November 16, 2008. He resigned his seat in the U.S. Senate upon being elected President of the United States. Obama won the seat in an election against Alan Keyes who replaced Republican Primary election winner Jack Ryan.
During the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, controversy broke out regarding Barack Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, a Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a former leader of the Weather Underground, a radical left organization in the 1970s. Investigations by CNN, The New York Times and other news organizations concluded that Obama did not have a close relationship with Ayers.
Valerie June Jarrett is an American businesswoman and former government official. She served as the senior advisor to President of the United States Barack Obama and assistant to the president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs from 2009 to 2017. Before that, she served as a co-chair of the Obama–Biden Transition Project.
Hillary Clinton won many primaries, but lost the Democratic Party nomination to Barack Obama during the United States presidential election, 2008.
Anita B. Dunn is an American political strategist who served as Acting White House Communications Director from April through November 2009. She is managing director at SKDKnickerbocker, a strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C..
AKPD Message and Media is an American political and media consulting firm catering to Democratic candidates and related causes. Formerly Axelrod and Associates, it is named after its four original partners: David Axelrod, John Kupper, David Plouffe, and John Del Cecato. All four were members of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, with Plouffe serving as campaign manager, Axelrod as senior strategist, and Del Cecato as media advisor. Axelrod, who is personally close to Obama, left AKPD to serve as Senior Advisor to the President in the Obama Administration and sold the firm to Kupper, Del Cecato and Larry Grisolano. AKPD's advertising and strategy have been widely credited for significantly altering elections in their clients favor. TIME has praised one of their most talked about ads, "Dante," as "The Ad that Won the New York Mayor's Race.". AKPD's offices are located in Chicago, Washington DC, and New York where it has recently expanded its presence by partnering with Bully Pulpit Interactive and Analytics Media Group.
The 2000 United States House of Representatives election for the 1st district in Illinois took place on November 7, 2000 to elect a representative from Illinois's 1st congressional district for the 107th United States Congress. Incumbent Democratic Representative Bobby Rush faced a primary challenge from future President Barack Obama. Rush defeated Obama 61 percent to 30 percent, with other candidates combining for the remaining nine percent. Rush then defeated his Republican opponent, Raymond Wardingley, 88 percent to 12 percent, ensuring his reelection.
Howard Daniel Pfeiffer is an American activist, podcaster, and former Senior Advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama for Strategy and Communications.
Joel Benenson is an American pollster and consultant known for his role as a strategist for Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. He was the chief strategist for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
James David Margolis is an American political consultant and communications executive based in Washington, DC. He served as an advisor to Barack Obama in both his 2008 and 2012 campaigns for the White House. Margolis is a partner at GMMB, Inc., a strategic communications firm and advertising agency. Previously he served as chief of staff to US Senator Kent Conrad, chief of staff to US Congressman Howard Wolpe, and Deputy Director of Communications for Vice President Walter Mondale's presidential campaign.
Bill Burton is an American political consultant.
Jeffrey Dean Zeleny is a Senior White House Correspondent for CNN. He previously was Senior Washington Correspondent for ABC News. During his newspaper career, he won a Pulitzer Prize with the Chicago Tribune.
"Perched atop a mailbox near his family's apartment in Stuyvesant Town, 5-year-old David Axelrod watched intently as a charismatic John F. Kennedy rallied New Yorkers for his presidential campaign in the fall of 1960.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to David Axelrod .|
| Senior Advisor to the President |
Served alongside: Valerie Jarrett, Pete Rouse