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David Axelrod is a political consultant and strategist recognized for creating a winning campaign strategy for U.S. President Barack Obama.
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In 1984, David Axelrod's campaign management team won Congressman Paul Simon a seat in the U.S. Senate. Axelrod has since led successful campaigns for numerous Democrats, and his client roster includes such names as Bill and Hillary Clinton. David Axelrod has also gained national repute for helping African American politicians get elected in landmark victories,
most notably Barack Obama.
David Axelrod, most widely recognized for creating a winning campaign strategy for U.S. President Barack Obama, was born on February 22, 1955, in New York City, to parents Myril and Joseph Axelrod. His mother was employed as a newspaper journalist and his father worked as a psychologist.
Axelrod was motivated by a sense of idealism at an early age. At 7 years old, he witnessed an inspiring speech by John F. Kennedy in New York which would set his life on a political course. Axelrod credits this formative experience with arousing a life passion for politics, and in 1972 Axelrod moved to Illinois to study political science at the University of Chicago. There, he met his future wife, Susan.
Upon graduating from college, Axelrod began working for the Chicago Tribune. In 1981, by the age of 27, he gained acclaim for being the youngest political writer in the newspaper's history. After eight years of political reporting, Axelrod left the paper to pursue a career in campaign consulting. Axelrod began to make a name for himself in 1984, when his campaign management team won Congressman Paul Simon a seat in the U.S. Senate. The following year, Axelrod capitalized on his knack for political campaign planning when he co-created the consulting firm Axelrod & Associates (later known as AKP&D Message and Media). Axelrod has since led successful campaigns for numerous Democrats, helping many politicians get elected at the local, state, and federal level. Axelrod's client roster includes such names as Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton.
Over the course of his career, David Axelrod has gained national repute for helping African-American politicians get elected in landmark victories. Axelrod's progressive liberalism; reputation for political idealism; and innovative bottom-up, technology-laden campaigning policies have made him a top political media expert with an aptitude for African-American campaigning. Axelrod's first significant experience in race-related campaigning was his work with Chicago Mayor Harold Washington in 1987. Washington's first campaign for mayor four years earlier had been a fervent struggle against racial prejudice, ending with Washington becoming the first African-American mayor in Chicago history. Thus when Mayor Washington hired Axelrod's company to manage his re-election campaign, Axelrod focused on preserving Washington's popularity amongst the African-American community while increasing the white vote from 8 percent in 1984 to 20 percent in 1987. Many believe that AKP&D Message and Media's campaign for Mayor Washington left a deep impression on David Axelrod to push for racial equality in politics.
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