Nobody Told Me Advising The President Would Be So Hard

Four things stick out at me from this NYT profile of Axelrod.

WASHINGTON — 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.

One: if only the president were anywhere near as adept at ignoring criticism from anyone even remotely right-of-center. I’m sure this was supposed to come across as reinforcing the whole above-the-fray thing they’ve struggled to convince people they still embody, but regardless, after the way they’ve conducted themselves thus far it takes some balls to still go bragging to the NYT about how good you are at ignoring the liberals.

In an interview in his office, 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.”

Two: Everything he mentions here was already the case when he decided to take the job. This is big boy shit, have a plan in place to deal with it and stop fucking whining. If it fails try harder or go back to the drawing board. Hell while you’re at it stop trying to posture your way around every little shift in the polling numbers (ie) if you’re really so bothered by the perpetual campaign.

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.”

Three: I guess the all-familiar “well obviously you expected him to fix it all overnight” line of excusatory bullshit comes right from the top. To one degree or another they really do believe that this is the only reason anyone on the left side of the aisle would be upset.

“Every time I hear that the White House is getting the message wrong, it breaks my heart,” said Mr. Axelrod’s sister, Joan, an educational therapist in Boston.

Four: Is this some kind of guilt trip? Oh those mean pundits…tell your brother to stop getting the fucking message wrong then.


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