Axelrod Does Politics & Eggs at Saint A’s

In David Axelrod’s world, only Republicans are partisan, and when Republicans oppose President Obama’s agenda, it’s always due to political calculations, never honest policy differences.

That was the gist of the White House advisor and Obama campaign strategist’s remarks at Politics & Eggs this morning at the NH Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. The New England Council events have featured a string of Republicans of late, and many prominent Democrats were among the 150 people who turned out for Axelrod. Among the hobnobbers were Democratic candidates Annie Kuster, Andrew Hosmer, Maggie Hassan, and Jackie Cilley.

“I’m a big believer in the New Hampshire Primary,” Axelrod said. “The people of New Hampshire discharge their responsibility well – even though I don’t always agree with their verdict.” He didn’t need to remind this crowd that his comments came in spite of President Obama’s loss here to Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Aside from castigating Republicans, support for the middle class was the occasional theme of Axelrod’s pedantic 22 minute talk.

“We honestly thought when we got to Washington that we’d get some help from the other side of the aisle,” Axelrod said. Congress is composed of “the most ideological, partisan group in my lifetime,” he added, perhaps forgetting the Class of 1974 or the Class of 2006. “They’ve all sworn oaths of allegiance to Grover Norquist,” the leader of Americans for Tax Reform, and “cleaved to the most strident voices of their party.”

Later he blamed the weak economy on the Arab Spring, the Japanese earthquake, and the European debt crisis – everything but locusts or Obama administration policies. He also suggested that Google exists because of government-funded research in science.

In one of his better points, Axelrod expressed dismay that, when a gay soldier was booed by the audience at a recent Republican debate, “Not one person on that platform, not one candidate, said ‘Don’t do that’.”

In Q&A, Axelrod took 19 minutes to answer just four questions from the audience, giving unfocused answers that lacked insight and candor. The person who ran the most expensive, biggest budget campaign in history disingenuously decried the amount of money in politics. A sheet metal workers union member hinted that after all the unions did to elect Obama president, they were owed taxpayer-funded construction jobs and Axelrod did not disagree with the quid pro quo subtext behind the question.

fergus@ferguscullen.com, September 27, 2011

Author: Fergus Cullen

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2007-2008) and an editorial page columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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