February 11, 2015

David Axelrod wants us to believe that he thinks we're terrible for only looking for juicy bits in his supposedly finely wrought meditation on politics called "Believer."

And if you can believe that, he's got a first-term Senator for President he can sell you. Or, well, we did believe him back then, he believes, so why won't we believe that this book of his is something more than what "modern media" is making of it?
“More than anything, this is what’s terrible about modern media and how these books roll out,” Axelrod says. “I was determined to write a book that wasn’t going to be characterized by some titillating nugget that had about a three-day half-life, but rather an entire story of my life and the conclusions that life has led me to. I wanted to write a book that people might want to read years from now and not just today’s publication because they wanted to find out who had been knifing who.”
But why would we believe that you have written a thoughtful tome of this sort? What in the entire story of your life could move us to believe that you'd produce a work of timeless literature or even solid personal memoir that tells the truth about what happened and reveals the actual "conclusions that life has led [you] to"?

Even now as you try to bullshit us into believing "Believer" is worth believing, you say things like:

The book treats Hillary Clinton, a client before she was an opponent—and today Axelrod’s preferred 2016 presidential candidate—with admiration and respect, even when her operatives are dissed, and even when Axelrod reports that she considered a post-2008 primary conversation with him, aboard the Obama campaign plane, about as welcome as a root canal.

“I think she’s going to be the [Democratic] nominee, and I will strongly support her,” says Axelrod, who claims that 2012 was his final campaign and that he has retired once and for all from political consulting; these days he presides over the Institute of Politics, which he founded in 2013 at his alma mater, the University of Chicago. “She’s in a very strong position—not to say that she’s guaranteed anything,” Axelrod says of Clinton. “The question—and only she can answer it when she becomes a candidate—is what kind of candidate she’ll be.”
So, obviously, he had no intention to tell the truth about Hillary. He's rooting for the Democratic Party candidate in '16, and it's probably going to have to be her, so he's pulling his punches. Who wants to read the inside story of Obama's '08 campaign if you know the writer is committed to being kind to Hillary? What I'd have to believe to want to read "Believer" is that the writer has put the interests of us, the readers, first. Otherwise, it's PR, propaganda... a book-shaped object. We smell that —easily — and we turn up our noses... after picking out the few nuggets that looked tasty.

And here's something Axelrod said in the interview:
Axelrod is skeptical of the presidential buzz surrounding Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. “So he goes to Iowa and gives a good speech to a few hundred activists…and he’s the flavor of the month,” he says. “Presidential politics is like pole vaulting. Everyone can clear the early bar. But then the bar gets raised. And the reality is, how do you handle it when it gets really, really rough, when you’re under constant scrutiny, when everything you say becomes an issue?”
What a hack! 1. He instinctively runs down the Republican, of course. 2. He uses a banal metaphor (raising the bar) and drags it out as if that will make it seem to contain wisdom. 3. He's acting like the first time he noticed Walker was the first thing Walker ever did. That speech in Iowa. But that speech in Iowa was what it was because Walker had gone though four really, really rough years in Wisconsin when he was under constant scrutiny, when everything he said became an issue.

57 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Just watched him on Morning Joe. He says he hates when people take stuff out of context.

I am still laughing.

Curious George said...

Just a despicable human being.

Rumpletweezer said...

Axelrod is crap as a parent. He's crap as a human being. He's good at lying and telling other people when to lie. How does someone like him retain any shred of self-respect?

Bob Boyd said...

"Believer—which is not as slavishly cult-like as the title indicates, since it acknowledges that, yes, Barack Obama has rough edges and human imperfections-..."

That line, so slavishly cult-like, speaks volumes about the state of the media today.

Laslo Spatula said...

Politicians are pimps, and the whores who work for them all want to think they are the pimp's 'best girl.'

Hike the skirt up a bit more, Axelrod.

I am Laslo.

gspencer said...

"I wanted to write a book that people might want to read years from now and not just today’s publication . . ."

David who?

Read years from now? That collection of pages will be in the remainder heap before Spring.

pm317 said...

I second Laslo!

Laslo Spatula said...

Theme for the day seems to be men who think they are a lot more important than they actually are.

I am Laslo.

pm317 said...

And to add to what Laslo said, this whore/pimp Axelrod sold Obama as the lone virgin in the whorehouse of Chicago, untainted by corruption and pay to play and other ills that went on in that city.

David Hampton said...


"Believer" and his life story are that a sucker is born every minute including those who bought his 'tome.' He reminds me of the "Snake oil" salesman in Outlaw Josey Wales. Note to Axlerod; Like Lewinsky's dress, that stain never comes out.

Tank said...

It's a juicy bit that Zero was lying about gay marriage?

OK, raise your hand if you believed that.

No one who reads Althouse believed that, not even Crack. This was fodder for the truly LIVers.

Also, raise your hand if you would pay money for this book. Who buys these books?

Laslo Spatula said...

"What in the entire story of your life could move us to believe that you'd produce a work of timeless literature or even solid personal memoir that tells the truth about what happened and reveals the actual "conclusions that life has led [you] to"?"

Because I am Laslo.

Anonymous said...

At least the Chicago political machine didn't try and foist 'Blago' upon the nation.

Jeffrey Toobin took a look at Andrew Cuomo (who took up the homeless cause, and married into the Kennedy brand) and I expect Hillary still might be the current front-runner (from Arkansas...but an international and known brand..embodying the 'woman' narrative)

Personally, I don't expect too much from Republicans, maybe less celebrity, more competence and humility, someone who can work on the deficit and keep us safe in a prudent manner. Shrinking government to keep the system running longer would be nice.

Around the Presidency are powerful entrenched interests, opposing coalitions, money, and a lot of hacks, hatchet jobs, smooth operators and 'yes' men .

If David Axelrod were speaking at the mall with Karl Rove, would you stop and listen?

If for no other reason than to get a look at what it takes to win and run the executive position in our Republic?

chickelit said...

Axelrod sounds like an utter shill. He openly implies tha only Democrats should have power.

As someone who has voted both ways (and more times for D than R for President), I'm just not interested in hearing much of anything from such a dedicated partisan.

If you want one-party rule in the world, go ahead and follow David Axelrod, buy his book, give him money and adulation.

AReasonableMan said...

What ever happened to cruel neutrality regarding Walker?

surfed said...

Agree with with chickelit.

Brando said...

Should anyone be surprised that Axelrod is a hack? I mean, his resume basically reads "paid hack". It'd be like expecting a balanced view from Mike Murphy or Karl Rove or whichever overpaid boob is running Hillary's next campaign.

The fact that he's retired doesn't mean a thing--you never really turn it off. He's learned to be a fighter for his side, and that's the way he's thought for his entire professional career.

The only possible benefit to reading a book by such a person is if they're a good storyteller and can give you some inside views on parts of campaigns you may not have known about. But you have to understand their partisan bias is baked in, as well as telling the stories from a POV that makes them look good.

I remember reading Churchill's memoirs on WWII, and at every turn it was skewed to make his decisions look defensible, even where they were blunders. I'd expect no different here.

Big Mike said...

And the reality is, how do you handle it when it gets really, really rough, when you’re under constant scrutiny, when everything you say becomes an issue?

I'd say that Barack Obama has handled it pretty poorly.

Anonymous said...

***What I like about Axelrod's appearance is that I could easily see him in a back alley with a trenchcoat all shifty-eyed and such:

'Hey buddy...yeah you...word is if you go soft on card check...I got 30 votes on the budget and some serious media spin right heaahhhh....right heaaaahhh...

Would this moustache lie?'

Unigov said...

This might sound like a joke, but Brian Williams was instrumental in recruiting Axelrod to join MSNBC a few years ago. Williams visited personally with Axelrod. It would take a while to connect the dots between NBC, GE, Obama, defense contracting, CFL bulbs...

pm317 said...

@unigov, many of us connected those dots in 2008.

pm317 said...

Remember Immelt, shovel ready projects, stimulus..

Laslo Spatula said...

Axelrod could probably have benefitted from Brian Williams' advice for juicing up his memoir. Needs more sizzle.

I am Laslo.

MadisonMan said...

He sounds too smart for me. I guess I am unworthy of the book.

pm317 said...

These people make Bush look better. They took a page out of Rove's book and wrote a masterpiece on how to screw people.

Laslo Spatula said...

A career like his: he obviously perfected the skill of knowing just when to tickle the balls.

Yes, that includes Hillary.

I am laslo.

PB said...

It should be classified as fiction.

Jane the Actuary said...

I particularly liked Obama's rationalization for why he didn't lie about SSM, on CNN or something like that this morning: "I'd always been open that I believed in SSM personally, but wrestled with what the law should be."

Which is the exact opposite of his claims at the time.

MaxedOutMama said...

One thing about Walker - he has come under really, really intense scrutiny. He's vetted as few candidates have been, already. That doesn't mean that any person has to support him, of course. Support will depend upon his policies.

But it does make Axelrod look amazingly stupid for writing "And the reality is, how do you handle it when it gets really, really rough, when you’re under constant scrutiny, when everything you say becomes an issue?"

We already know that about Walker. Walker has to come up with a workable agenda, but the scrutiny will be business-as-usual for him.

They are afraid of Walker, no question about it.

Michael K said...

Did he happen to mention anything about how he got the Tribune to help him pry open the divorce records of Jack Ryan so he could push his empty suit into the Senate ?

EDH said...

"And the reality is, how do you handle it when it gets really, really rough, when you’re under constant scrutiny, when everything you say becomes an issue?”

Evidently, you pry open the sealed divorce and child custody records of your electoral opponents.

MaxedOutMama said...

Chickelit - I have always believed that being too in the bag for one party makes both party's top dogs more unresponsive to the public. The public needs to switch off now and then to keep them worried. Otherwise we'll end up funding GE with negative taxes no matter which party is in power.

It is a wonderful thing to have the government's ear, and the only way most people do is through the election process. I think we should keep them guessing.

I guess a lot of people are in that camp, because it seems as if "Independents" are the largest group of voters these days.

Who wants to buy a book by any party apparatchik? I'm glad Ann chose to highlight this, but it does spark a few more dismal thoughts about the deficiencies of the American party system. Axelrod is supposed to be one of the people that knows how the American voter thinks!!!

EDH said...

Sorry MK, didn't see yours.

EDH said...

Where did the term "juicy bits" come from anyway?

bbkingfish said...

When Althouse takes down a heavyweight's bullshit, she really piles on the horseshit.

This is an outstanding piece of extemporaneous faux logic, with at least one guaranteed howler in each paragraph.

Five stars.

Larry J said...

Following Nixon's resignation, several former members of his administration published tell-all books. Leftists denounced them, saying (among other things), "Don't buy books from crooks."

That was good advice then (considering the source) and it's good advice today.

Nonapod said...

If there's no "juicy bits", if it's simply a book filled with self aggrandizing hogwash and narcissistic musings (as I suspect) then what sane person would read it?

Jupiter said...

" I wanted to write a book that people might want to read years from now "

The only thing Axelrod could write that I would want to read is a suicide note.

Michael K said...

"Sorry MK, didn't see yours."

Repetition is important in the LIV world.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

I always thought of David Axelrod as a liar's liar - frontman for a flim-flammer.

Sebastian said...

"Otherwise, it's PR, propaganda... a book-shaped object." You mean, any Dems publish books that aren't "PR, propaganda"? Any Dem operatives aren't "hacks"?

Sebastian said...

"Also, raise your hand if you would pay money for this book. Who buys these books?"

Like Clinton lecture fees and foundation contributions, publishing advances are another form of Progressive campaign finance and crony capitalism payola.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

It's the Chicago way.

Breaking news: Little league team from South Chicago just had title striped for cheating. They used ringers from surrounding areas to create an all-star team that then went and crushed the dreams of all other teams who weren't cheating.

If Obama had a son . . .

Kelly said...

Drudge headline reads that Feds are looking to regulate blogs so it may be best to start doing pro Obama blog posts supporting his blatant lies. You like your blog you can keep your blog.

Birches said...

I always thought the media narrative of "Scott Walker comes out of nowhere to lead the pack" was forced to create extra story lines for a lackluster Dem nominee. I mean, who really thinks that Scott Walker isn't a top tier contender?

Rusty said...

OK. Jupiter won this thread.

Tank said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

It's the Chicago way.

Breaking news: Little league team from South Chicago just had title striped for cheating. They used ringers from surrounding areas to create an all-star team that then went and crushed the dreams of all other teams who weren't cheating.


If you look at the name and picture of that team, you'll see that you are a racist.

Just sayin.

Big Mike said...

@Rusty, agreed! LOL

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Tank said...

If you look at the name and picture of that team, you'll see that you are a racist.

Just sayin.


I'm actually a Realist, but these days it is not hard to see how the two can be confused.

Beldar said...

I stand by my report from 2010 that Axelrod stole Bibi's burger.

David said...

Axelrod is a hark, but he was a very powerful hack. That is the political way in America today.

Think Bill Casey, James Carville, Jim Baker. Carville is a great partisan, but not a hack. Baker and Casey went on to very successful if controversial posts in the government. By contrast, Axelrod was overwhelmed by Valerie Jarrett, and David Plouffe, O's real campaign manager, is now a Senior VP at Uber. In other words he's cashing in on his supposed influence.

CWJ said...

Jupiter wrote -

"The only thing Axelrod could write that I would want to read is a suicide note."

Ah yes, but whose?

Larry J said...

Jupiter said...
" I wanted to write a book that people might want to read years from now "

The only thing Axelrod could write that I would want to read is a suicide note.


"I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction."
- Clarence Darrow

NotquiteunBuckley said...

D.A. has had to fake retardation in order to appeal to LIVs. This isn't as easy as some of you are seemingly making it out to be. Take it from me.

And Jupitor is nice, but "Because I am Laslo" takes home the trophy today, if it will fit inside the already overcrowded trophy warehouse.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2458715/Spanish-basketball-team-pretended-disabled-win-Paralympic-gold.html

wendybar said...

http://spectator.org/articles/35070/all-political-family

Read this article, and there are plenty of them out there. Makes you wonder who's side they are on!!

Darrell said...

Since Axelrod was Obama's campaign manager, didn't he script the lie? Wasn't he the one who told Obama to pretend to hold the majority opinion until after the election?

davinci78 said...

Birches said...

"I always thought the media narrative of "Scott Walker comes out of nowhere to lead the pack" was forced to create extra story lines for a lackluster Dem nominee. I mean, who really thinks that Scott Walker isn't a top tier contender?"

Set em up higher so they fall harder.


Set