Profile of Axelrod in the NY Times:
David Axelrod was sitting at his desk on a recent afternoon — tie crooked, eyes droopy and looking more burdened than usual. He had just been watching some genius on MSNBC insist that he and President Obama’s other top aides were failing miserably and should be replaced.
“Typical Washington junk we have to deal with,” Mr. Axelrod said in an interview. The president is deft at blocking out such noise, he added, suddenly brightening. “I love the guy,” he said, and in the space of five minutes, repeated the sentiment twice.***
In a lengthy interview in his office on Wednesday, Mr. Axelrod was often defiant, saying he did not give a “flying” expletive “about what the peanut gallery thinks” and did not live for the approval “of the political community.” He denounced the “rampant lack of responsibility” of people in Washington who refuse to solve problems, and cited the difficulty of trying to communicate through what he calls “the dirty filter” of a city suffused with the “every day is Election Day sort of mentality.”
When asked how he would assess his performance, Mr. Axelrod shrugged. “I’m not going to judge myself on that score,” he said. But then he shot back: “Have I succeeded in reversing a 30-year trend of skepticism and cynicism about government? I confess that I have not. Maybe next year.”
The criticism of the administration’s communication strategy — leveled by impatient Democrats, gleeful Republicans, bloggers and cable chatterers — clearly stings Mr. Axelrod, as well as the circle of family, friends and fans he has acquired over three decades in politics as a consultant and, before that, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune.
I wonder who the “genius” on MSNBC was? When was Sirota last on?
But I’d be tired if I were Axelrod, too. If I were him, I would have already resorted to the summary execution of a number of Democratic Senators and the Stupak 12 in Congress, half the President’s “allies” in the blogosphere, and the entire Republican representation would be in Siberia. But that is just how I roll.
But no wonder they are frustrated. Look once again at the list of accomplishments in one year, notwithstanding the fact that we staved off a complete economic collapse, and then realize that this is being deemed a failure- by the Democrats (and that list is four months old). It is ridiculous.
Hell, they are on the cusp of delivering a health care reform package that wildly exceeds Howard Dean’s wet dream a couple years ago, and Dean himself was briefly acting the “genius” on cable tv trying to kill the bill. Meanwhile, members of the legislative body, the folks responsible for writing legislation, led by Democrats, are whining publicly that Obama should have written the bill and just given it to them. And there is a good chance that a couple of nutjobs butthurt about the public option and some fetus fetishists allied with Stupak might very well kill the bill.
I’d be tired too. In fact, I am. And the best part is going to be listening to the concern trolling of people linking to this piece, worried about the Obama administration’s fall, without so much as mentioning they have spent the last year tripping them up, whether it be for reasons of self-promotion or because their pet issue wasn’t dealt with first.
To me, nothing sums up the fail of the Democratic party and the blogosphere more than the Dawn Johnsen affair. For a year, she was blocked by an obstinate GOP, and rather than attack the Republicans, we got months of “Why isn’t Obama doing more?” nonsense on the blogs. Some went so far as to suggest that this was just Obama’s way of thumbing his nose at progressives, and that it was a plan to screw them over.
And now that she has been renominated (because Obama really doesn’t want her) andr it looks like Dawn will be at the OLC shortly? Crickets.