The Current

David Axelrod shares why he believed in Obama as U.S. president

You likely remember political strategist David Axelrod, the right-hand-man to the senator from Illinois, who went on to make presidential history. Now David Axelrod is sharing his behind-the-scenes story in a new memoir. He joins us to tell us what it was like to help elect America's first black president.
Former senior advisor to President Obama and the "Yes We Can" man, David Axelrod has a new memoir called "Believer: My Forty Years in Politics." (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Senior Advisor to U.S. President David Axelrod says racism is a part of anti-Obama attacks from the right. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst )

November 4th, 2008, was indeed an historic night in American in history.

An African-American man was elected to the White House, something many believed they'd never see in their lifetimes.

I met Barack in 1992 when a friend of mine called me and said Ì just met the most remarkable young man and I think you should meet him. She said I think he could be the first African-American president of the United States.- David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Obama.

But Barack Obama's campaign was visionary and that's thanks in part to David Axelrod. The political strategist has been described as one of the key architects of Obama's historic first run for the presidency, and, what's more, he repeated the feat four years later in the reelection campaign. 

Then, from 2009 to 2011, he worked from the office right next to the president, serving as the Commander in Chief's senior advisor. That's a lot of history — to see, and to make.

David Axelrod finally put the story to paper, in a new book titled "Believer: My Forty Years in Politics." He is the founder of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago. David Axelrod was in our Toronto studio.


This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal. 

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