Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kingmakers: David Axelrod and Karl Rove

David Axelrod is Barack Obama's chief strategist and media advisor. Karl Rove is an evil bastard, and also was George W. Bush's senior advisor. What is the difference between David Axelrod and Karl Rove? Karl Rove is a lifelong GOP activist/advisor and David Axelrod is a long-time Democrat advisor (his only other job was as reporter for the Chicago Tribune for 8 years). They both groomed young, charismatic candidates to run for President.

Here is Wikipedia's entry about Axelrod's career up until the 2008 Presidential election:

He formed a political consultancy, Axelrod & Associates, in 1985. In 1987, he worked on the successful reelection campaign of Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor. This established his first experience in working with black politicians and he later became a key player in similar mayoral campaigns of blacks, 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.[5] Axelrod is a longtime strategist for Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley and styles himself a "specialist in urban politics."

In 2004, Axelrod worked for the presidential campaign of John Edwards. During the 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."

In 2006, Axelrod consulted for several campaigns, including for the successful campaigns of Eliot Spitzer in New York's gubernatorial election and for Deval Patrick in Massachusetts's gubernatorial election. Axelrod also 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.

Karl Rove's political consultancy experience is certainly longer, too long for me to insert here, but I think you will accept that I am comparing apples to apples here.

Axelrod specializes in the nether-region between lobbying and advertising. Wikipedia's entry on him refers to this field as "astroturfing", or the manufacturing of a grass-roots movement. I'm not going to pretend I know much about this, here is a link for some background information, but it still strikes one as kind of icky.

So, there it is, my first post with some sources. I grant that two are Wikipedia, and the other is linked to from Wikipedia, but I still put forth some effort. Also, I want to give a shout out to my girlfriend who has labelled my blog "gayy" (emphasis added), at least half-jokingly, too!

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