David Axelrod is a 35-year veteran of American politics and journalism. Currently, he is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, the founder and director of the University of Chicago’s non partisan Institute of Politics, host of the podcast titled, “The Axe Files,” and a CNN Senior Political Commentator. Axelrod began his career as a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, eventually becoming City Hall Bureau Chief for the paper. In 1985, Axelrod formed the political consultancy firm, Axelrod & Associates, where he managed media and communications strategy for more than 150 local, state, and national campaigns. Axelrod was introduced to Barack Obama in 1992 by Bettylu Saltzman, a fixture in Chicago democratic politics, who was impressed with Obama’s efforts with voter registration. Obama consulted with Axelrod before giving his anti-Iraq war speech in 2002, and asked him to read drafts of his book, "The Audacity of Hope", which was published in 2006. Axelrod served as strategist for Obama’s 2004 US Senate campaign, and then as chief strategist and media advisor for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, where he helped create the campaign slogan, “Yes, We Can.” After a victorious presidential election, Obama named Axelrod his Senior Advisor. In early 2011, Axelrod left this post in order to serve again as chief strategist and media advisor for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, announcing this campaign would be his final job as a political operative.
"We must build bridges to the future, not the past."