Things must be bad, considering the Democratic turmoil in the capitol.
"I miss Chicago every day. I'm homesick every day," Axelrod said at a Chicago home for those with developmental needs where he was the keynote speaker. "But the one virtue of being away is that I don't have to be in the middle of a contest between very good friends."
Ironically, the two biggest culprits of cringe inducing political sniping, Comptroller Dan Hynes and Governor Pat Quinn, were at the Misericordia Heart of Mercy - Jean Marie Ryan Center breakfast with Axelrod. They brought a palpable tension to the room, as the wounds from a Hynes campaign ad featuring former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington are still fresh.
Perhaps they could use a bit of guidance in campaign integrity from Axelrod, who exudes the same stoic calm as his boss, Obama.
It’s not as if Axelrod isn’t paying attention to Illinois.
The White House senior adviser has met with three of the state’s Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate. Cheryle Jackson, David Hoffman and Alexi Giannoulias have all traveled to the White House to get pointers on how not to lose the senate seat President Obama occupied less than two years ago.
Axelrod doesn't seem to buy the logic that Illinois voters could buck the Democratic party and vote in a Republican the way Massachusetts, voters did last week.
"This was an independent vote," Axelrod said. "Not a partisan one. ... Obama still has a 60-percent approval rating there."
But a GOP win has got to be a concern for the White House.
Recent polls suggest that Illinois Republican Mark Kirk could pull an upset win over front-runner Alexi Giannoulias, who was also at the breakfast with Axelrod, and win the Illinois Senate seat for the GOP. Axelrod, says that Kirk will have a hard time pulling off a Scott Brown-like upset, however, because he's been a congressman and a Washinton insider for 10 years.