President Obama likely can’t do anything about the economy at this late date, but he can control his own campaign. And that raises a critical question: Why hasn’t he fired David Axelrod?Sshhh, Jen. We want Axlerod to stay right where he is. The guy is the best reminder of the anti-American lefties who regularly advise Obama. He's basically a throwback socialist and keeping him out front is good for Romney.
A longtime Republican operative described Axelrod’s performance as akin to the performance of “Baghdad Bob” in the Iraq war. Seriously, he insists on putting himself front and center, rather than deferring to more endearing and skilled operatives. He winds up bolstering Mitt Romney’s message, getting shouted down or pummeled on TV.
Axelrod seems clueless about how to run anything but a “change” election, which is problematic, if not disastrous, for an incumbent president. The brass-knuckles campaign he has devised has made Romney a more effective and attractive candidate, while turning the president into an angry and petty figure. Not since Mark Penn helped drive Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign into the ground has a famed campaign guru stumbled this badly.
A campaign shake-up at this stage would accomplish several things. First, it would allow Obama to step away from the negativity and attempt to recapture a higher, more presidential tone. Second, if coupled with a bipartisan effort to keep us from sagging into a double-dip recession (for example, by passing an extension of the George W. Bush tax cuts or approving the XL pipeline), dumping Axelrod would help change the image of a hyper-partisan president uninterested in governance. And finally, dumping Axelrod would be a sign, for a president seemingly buffeted by external events, that Obama can grasp the reins of leadership.
Jim Geraghty reminds us that Axlerod has been around a long time with Obama and that's why he hasn't been fired:
Keep him around, Barry. He'll be good for the GOP.
Probably because Axelrod has been there since the beginning -- Obamaconsulted Axelrod on his anti-war speech in 2002 -- and he's has been Obama's right-hand man/sounding board/fixer from his first ambitious thoughts of running for Senate. What would Obama do without the guy who he's been able to turn to from Day One? If anyone has job security around here, it's David Axelrod.