David Axelrod

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David Axelrod with Michael Oren at the Embassy of Israel's Hanukkah celebration in December 2010

David Axelrod is an American political consultant who has advised many US politicians, most notably running the campaigns for Barack Obama's two presidential terms.

Axelrod is currently running the campaign for the UK Labour Party in the 2015 general election.



Axelrod previously was on the political staff at the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Despite this being his dream job, he soon became disillusioned after spending long hours researching and writing only to suspect his bosses were micro-editing stories without permission. After being told he would never become political editor, he resigned.[1]

Political campaigning

After falling out of love with journalism, Axelrod was appointed press secretary for Democrat Paul Simon's run for a US senate seat from Illinois in 1984. Within seven weeks of being hired by Simon, Axelrod was promoted to campaign manager and played a key role in Simon's victory.[1]

Axelrod has worked for Harold Washington in his successful campaign to become re-elected as mayor of Chicago in 1987 and Richard M. Daley in his 1989 mayoral campaign.[1]

Axelrod soon became the go to man for many politicians and has advised senators Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Chris Dodd.[1]

Obama presidential campaigns

Probably Axelrod's most high profile job came in 2008 when he was hired by Barack Obama to join his campaign team. The two had already met in 1992, before Obama had even won public office in Illinois and they had stayed in touch ever since.[2]

During Obama's first term as president Axelrod worked as his adviser, with one of his main jobs being being a speechwriter.

So successful was their collaboration in 2008, Axelrod was rehired in 2012 to get Obama re-elected.[3]

Labour Party

In April 2014, Axelrod was hired, on a six figure contract, by the Labour Party to advise Ed Miliband and the rest of the party in their bid for power in the 2015 General Election. In this role he will work with Labour campaign co-ordinator Douglas Alexander, American pollster Stan Greenberg and fellow former Obama aide Arnie Graf. Axelrod will not be leading the Labour Party on the ground, but instead stay in America and consult them from there.[4]


As well as working for the Labour Party, Axelrod was hired by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria to work alongside British based BTP Advisers. In April 2015 the APC's candidate Muhammadu Buhari beat the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan by more than 2.5 million votes to become the new president of Nigeria.[5][6]


Forthcoming book published by Penguin Books: Believer


Twitter: @davidaxelrod



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Patrick T. Reardon http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-070620axelrod-htmlstory-htmlstory.html Chicago Tribune, 24 June 2007, accessed 4 February 2015
  2. BBC News, Profile: David Axelrod, 7 November 2008, accessed 4 February 2015
  3. Paul Harris David Axelrod: Barack Obama's street fighter Observer, 5 August 2012, accessed 4 February 2015
  4. BBC News, Labour election strategist David Axelrod starts work, 15 May 2014, accessed 4 February 2015
  5. Lobbying in Africa: Nightmare on K street Africa Report, 28 November 2014, accessed 4 February 2015
  6. BBC Nigeria election: Muhammadu Buhari wins presidency, 1 April 2015, accessed 20 April 2015.