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Axelrod Gives Up Ownership Stake in Consulting Firm


By selling his stake in the consulting firm he founded, Obama senior adviser is signaling a shift from campaign politics to the politics of governing. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

David Axelrod, perhaps the most trusted member of President-elect Barack Obama's political inner circle, is giving up ownership stake in the media consulting firm he founded in order to become a senior adviser in the White House.

The firm, which will still be known as AKPD Message and Media, will reconfigure itself; Three of its current partners -- David Plouffe, John Kupper and John Del Cecato -- will remain and a fourth consultant, Larry "Gris" Grisolano, will join as the managing partner of the firm.

Grisolano had previously been part of The Strategy Group, a Chicago-based direct mail firm, and during the presidential campaign had served as director of paid media and opinion research -- a fancy name for coordinating the ad and polling operations.

Grisolano will remain "of counsel" to Strategy Group, according to partner Pete Giangreco. "While we have great relationships with lots of media firms, we have always
had a special relationship with AKPD [and] this continues that relationship," said Giangreco.

"It's really difficult for me to leave a company that's been such a huge part of my life, but I enter my new post with enormous pride and confidence in the team that's taking over," Axelrod said. "I feel privileged to be able to hand-pick my successors, and I take comfort in knowing AKPD will be led by the very best political minds anywhere in this country."

Axelrod's move is a rare one for a longtime political consultant. Typically these consultants view themselves as hired guns, campaign nomads who go from election to election -- never delving too deeply into policy.

Axelrod's decision to sell his stake of AKPD shows the unique connection he enjoys with Obama and suggests he won't simply be a drive-by participant in the goings-on of the first four years of the new administration.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 16, 2009; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Comments

President Obama delivered a dynamic and powerful inaugural speech, not just as the first African-American President of the United States but as a humble, God-fearing man who loves America and wants the best for the American people, a humble man who just happens to be African-American. The fact that this has been played up so much demonstrates that we as American people have not come far enough in race relations to simply say: "There goes a great man--a great president!" instead of being so quick to constantly point out the person's race or color. Yes, because this is a landmark in America's history, it should be pointed out. Then, afterwards, America should simply say, "Go Obama!" America is privileged to have such a great man for President of the United States, a man with great innovative ideas who sticks to old, traditional American values, a man who honors President Lincoln by placing his hand on the Lincoln bible while being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. One day America will see an African-American man walk down the street and ALL Americans will say who know him, "there goes a very nice and intelligent man," not "oh, there goes a nice and intelligent BLACK man." When that day comes, America will have arrived.

Posted by: illyazteca | January 20, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Like Axelrod really has time to run a full time political media and consulting firm and work as a full time White House advisor? Really, quitting his high paying day job to work a few years as a low paying public White House servant is par course...his post-White House hourly rate will quadruple--as will his expense account billings.

So who's impressed by Axelrod's move?

Posted by: txgall | January 16, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

URGENT TO DAVID AXELROD:

WAKE UP and SMELL THEIR INTEL...

CANCEL Risky "Sitting Duck" Obama-Biden Train Excursion


(There is serious concern here. And it's too cold for spectators, anyway...)


• What happened to Homeland Security warnings of "heightened risk" during Presidential transition?

• How about the late November FBI warning about possible Northeast train station attacks?

• "Amtrak Joe" Biden's longstanding warnings about security flaws along the Amtrak Northeast corridor -- why isn't he waving this whistle stop tour to a halt?


It is both mystifying and frightening to contemplate the unnecessary risk to which President-elect Barack Obama and Vice-President-elect Joe Biden are subjecting themselves by going through with Saturday's planned pre-inauguration "whistle stop" train ride from Philadelphia to Washington.


In his farewell press conference on Monday, President Bush seemed to go out of his way to twice repeat that the greatest threat the nation faces is another terrorist attack. At one point in his presser, he said that by giving official voice to the threat, he was not "trying to set something up."

Here are President Bush's exact words:


"There is an enemy that still is out there.

"You know, people can maybe try to write that off as, you know, 'he's trying to set something up.'

"I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America -- Americans -- again. There just is. That's the reality of the world."


George W. Bush could not have been more plain-spoken, candid and direct. The incoming White House team ignores his words -- which he most likely thought about before uttering them -- at their peril.

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/plea-obama-cancel-risky-reckless-sitting-duck-train-stunt
OR (if link is disabled): http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 16, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

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