Axelrod Interview: Ad Spending, The Ground Game, Reaching “Persuadables”

 David Axelrod SC Axelrod Interview: Ad Spending, the Ground Game, Reaching Persuadables

Reporters from several news organizations, including RealClearPolitics, interviewed Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod in Parma, Ohio, Thursday after President Obama’s speech there.

What’s your response to the $100 million raised by Romney campaign and announced today?

Congratulations, they had a good month.

What about taunts on Twitter from the Romney camp today?

I mean, I don’t think that — ultimately — that this race will be determined on monthly fundraising, and we’ve already been honest, not because of what they’re raising, but about what the super PACs are raising — that we’re going to be outspent. It seems to me that they were looking for some good news today, and this is the best they had.

The race is not coming down to money?

I’ve said it always concerns me — you know the monthly numbers are not as big. . . . The fact that Sheldon Adelson can go to the cage in his casino and pull $10 million out and send it to Restore Our Future or to anybody or to Rove — that’s a bigger concern. I think ultimately you can have all the money you want, but if you don’t have the right candidate and the right message . . . They’ve spent an awful lot of money in the last few months, and it’s hard to see what that bought them.

You’ve said you don’t think the Romney campaign is focused on the ground game and the grassroots.

I don’t think you buy grassroots. We have an organization, and that is helpful, and some of that is paid. But you either inspire activity at the grassroots, or you don’t. I don’t see anything to suggest to me that that’s going to be Gov. Romney’s strength in this race.

Read More at By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics.

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Video: Axelrod Dodges “Yes Or No” If The “Private Sector Is Doing Fine” Three Times

David Axelrod refuses to answer the basic “yes or no” question of whether or not he agrees with President Obama that the “private sector is doing fine.”

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Obama’s Downgrade May Last Until 2029

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Obama scored another historical first on Friday, becoming the first president to see the U.S. credit rating downgraded by Standard & Poor’s, from AAA to AA+. While we hope his presidential reign lasts no longer than January 2013, Americans may have to live with the consequences of Obamanomics for more than a decade to come. The chairman of Standard & Poor’s sovereign debt ratings, John Chambers, told ABC’s This Week program on Sunday the United States could be stuck with the lower credit rating between nine and 18 years. “We’ve had five governments that lost their AAA that got it back,” he said. “The amount of time that it took for those five range from 9 years to 18 years.” He forecast that digging America out of the debt ditch “could take awhile,” and that it would require two things: “a stabilization of the debt as a share of the economy and eventual decline” and “more ability to reach consensus in Washington than what we’re observing now.”

The president’s commitment to deficit spending and unwillingness to make enforceable budget cuts leave a grim prognosis. But the outlook gets worse. As this author noted Friday, there is a chance America will be downgraded yet again. Chambers placed the odds of a future downgrade at one-in-three. Scoring a AA rating would place the Land of the Free on equal terms with Spain and Qatar.

These realities had Obama in full Alinsky mode during his 1 p.m. speech (which took place at two o’clock this afternoon). He opened by saying, while Tea Party intransigence forced S&P to cut our debt rating, “The markets, on the other hand, continue to believe our credit status is AAA.” To bolster his case, he added, “Warren Buffett, who knows a thing or two about good investments, said, ‘If there were a quadruple-A rating, I’d give the United States that.’” Even as he spoke, the stock market was in free fall. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 634.76 points this afternoon. The slide capped off a string of losses so severe that CNBC reports, on this eighth day of the month, “August is already on track to be the worst month for the S&P [500] and Nasdaq since Oct. 2008,” the first full month of the economic meltdown. And despite earning the Obama administration’s seal of approval, Standard & Poor’s marked down Buffett’s Birkshire Hathaway holding conglomerate from “stable” to “negative” today.

Obama’s Surrogates Savage the Savers

Democratic talking heads did their best to pin blame on their political opponents. This weekend, both David Axelrod and Sen. John Kerry repeated the phrase “Tea Party downgrade.”

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner eschewed presidential responsibility, as well. “Congress ultimately owns the credit rating of the United States,” he said. This would be true in the sense that Obama offered absolutely no leadership during the debate and presented no plan of his own but would overlook the president’s addiction to deficit spending and hostility to fiscal (or political) responsibility. Geithner, suddenly discovering the Founding Fathers, noted Congress has “the power of the purse in the Constitution.” That fact did not keep Geithner from publicly musing about having Obama unilaterally raise the debt ceiling in late June, leading to a chorus of Democrats demanding the president invoke the 14th Amendment to claim the power of the purse as his own.

Not everyone is reading from the same script, though. As usual, Bill and Hillary Clinton have taken the crisis to spin things in their favor. The Hill newspaper reports former Clinton administration appointees, who insisted on remaining anonymous, said Obama….

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Top Obama advisers Jarrett and Axelrod given car privileges traditionally reserved for national security officials

By Jon Ward – The Daily Caller

President Obama has expanded the very small group of top aides who are given the privilege of taxpayer-funded personal drivers — who take them from their house to work and back home again each day — to include two top political advisers.

The Bush White House did not give the same privileges to any of its political advisers, according to former Bush administration officials. There is a record of the Clinton White House doing so once for two months, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller.

Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, both senior advisers to the president, have been given the luxurious and prestigious perk of being picked up at their homes and driven to work or around town throughout the day in government vehicles chauffeured by military drivers, according to a list of those given the benefit provided to The Daily Caller by the White House.

In addition, Jarrett has been made a “protectee” of the Secret Service, a spokesman for the agency said. It is not clear to what extent Jarrett receives protection. Neither the White House or Secret Service would comment on the matter.

“We don’t discuss the scope or nature of protection for any Secret Service protectee due to operational security concerns,” said Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan.

But except for a few weeks after 9/11, political advisers to Bush such as Karl Rove did not have Secret Service details with them except for the rare occasion where they gave a speech where protesters were expected.

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