[Guest post by DRJ]
The New York Times profiles how hard it is to be David Axelrod:
“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.”
Axelrod’s job is to craft the Obama Administration’s big themes and he’s having a bad day when the White House loses the support of MSNBC. “Hope” and “Change” worked for the campaign but not for day-to-day governing. Maybe that’s why the tone of the New York Times article suggests Axelrod could be the first of President Obama’s inner circle to leave the fold:
“Mr. Axelrod is tired, but he says that is nothing new. “I have dealt with a lot of ‘real stuff’ in my life,” he said, referring to his daughter’s long struggle with epilepsy, his father’s suicide and his wife’s bout with breast cancer. “The disapprobation of some folks in Washington doesn’t seem very meaningful.”
His friends still worry. “I think he’s getting close to a burnout kind of thing,” said Sam Smith, a former Chicago Tribune sports writer.
As Mr. Obama began his term, Mr. Axelrod told him he would stay at the White House for a finite period — believed to be about two years — and that time frame remains unchanged. “I’ve learned more things in the last year than I will ever learn in my life,” he said. “It’s just something you can’t do forever, or it will kill you.”