1. He doesn’t come over very well on TV:
2. Axelrod has worked for several disgraced or failed politicians. These include Italian technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti, who was booted out of office last year after only managing to win 10% of the vote following his 2013 Axelrod-managed campaign.
3. Axelrod started out young working for the machine politician Richard M. Daley, the Chicago mayor whose administration was always mired in corruption.
4. He also worked for Eliot Spitzer, who infamously resigned as Governor of New York over a hookers scandal. Rod Blagojevich, the former Governor of Illinois who is now serving a 14 year prison term for corruption. John Edwards, who was indicted for allegedly using campaign funds to cover up an extra-marital affair. Adlai Stevenson III, whose disastrous campaign for Governor of Illinois in 1986 was described by Axelrod himself as a “nightmare“.
6. He was frozen out of the Whitehouse by an ungrateful Obama and Jim Messina who sent him packing back to Chicago. Jim Messina was hired by the Tories last year. Despite both being Democrats who worked for Obama, they hate each other.
7. Richard Wolffe in his book “The Message: The Reselling of President Obama“ described Axelrod as “insecure” and “fretted about his status, not least after getting pushed out of the West Wing, and he loved to be courted by TV producers. The fleeting fame of TV punditry offered some comfort from the harsh critique that came from internal political disputes…”. Wolffe writes that Axelrod is “scattershot”, “indecisive” and “shambling” and a man who would “drip” food on whatever shirt or tie he happened to be wearing. No wonder he gets on well with Ed Miliband…
8. Weirdly considering he’s just agreed to advise Ed, he believes personality is more important than policy: “the candidate is the message. The important thing is to tell a positive story about the candidate rather than to muddy the narrative with lots of talk about policy details.”
9. He was a partner in the consultancy firm AKPD, also hired by Labour as part of the package. Which suggests the party doesn’t think Blue Stage Digital alone is cutting the mustard tweeting infographics. The last presidential campaign AKPD worked on before Obama was Al Gore. He lost.
10. It is spelt “A X E L R O D”.
This morning wee Dougie told the Today programme that Axelrod has a winning track record. His CV suggests otherwise…