Ward Room
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Axelrod Goes Out on Top

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The political guru who helped guide two successful presidential campaigns for Barack Obama is leaving the game. (Published Wednesday, Nov 7, 2012)

    David Axelrod, and his mustache, are going out on top. 

    The campaign guru who played architect to two wildly different presidential campaigns for Barack Obama is heading off in to the sunset to begin the next chapter. 

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    David Axelrod has been running political campaigns out of his Chicago office for decades. (Published Friday, Nov 7, 2008)

    "It is great to go out on top and more than that it's great to go out with the president. It was his last campaign it was my last campaign. I can't imagine working for anyone who would be as great a partner, boss, inspiration than him."

    At one point, Axelrod played the role of senior White House adviser to the president, but he said that after the re-election campaign, win or lose, he would leave politics. 

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    The next phase for Axelrod is academic

    Back in January, Axelrod announced that he would head to the University of Chicago to create a new Institute of Politics meant to rival the Harvard Kennedy School. 

    "Now what I look forward to is trying to inspire  other people, young people to go into this work," Axelrod said.  "Being with these kids (referring to Obama campaign staffers) over the last 18 months just makes me more excited about that prospect."

    The University of Chicago Institute of Politics opens officially in 2013, but began offering preliminary courses in Summer 2012. 

    "My goal is to introduce more students to the spirit of public service," Axelrod said in a statement announcing his appointment.  "To me it's the most exciting, interesting, and vital way to spend one's life, and it's a tremendous way for students to have an impact on the issues they care about. I hope to help fire those passions. We need bright, motivated young people to go into careers in public service.

    Axelrod, who recently purchased a $1.7 million condo in Chicago that boasts lake views, is still tied to a powerful  political public relations firm based in Chicago AKPD.