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Axelrod Signs On With NBC as News Analyst

Axelrod Signs On With NBC as News Analyst

By Alexis Simendinger - February 19, 2013

On Tuesday came confirmation that David Axelrod -- President Obama’s re-election strategist and a top White House adviser during Obama’s first term -- is enlarging his professional responsibilities (and probably his tax bracket) with a lucrative new contract as a paid analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.

"I'm establishing the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago to try to encourage young people to get into the public arena,” Axelrod emailed RCP through his aide Tuesday. “I've also signed on as a senior political analyst at NBC News and MSNBC, and I'm exploring some writing projects as well.”

When RCP first asked Axelrod, 57, earlier this month about his rapidly filling dance card, including his pending TV contract and plans for a book and other writing opportunities, he demurred, saying through a spokesman that he was focused on his academic projects, including helping his alma mater’s new laboratory for political forensics get up and running.

“He's primarily focused on the Institute of Politics and not really anything else, so he would rather wait until he has more to say,” Tim Skoczek of Axelrod Strategies wrote in an email Feb. 9. A week later, the NBC/MSNBC contract was a done deal.

RCP at the time asked Axelrod to comment on the hats he’s wearing in the wake of Obama’s defeat of Mitt Romney. He has said his career managing presidential races is over, having been there, done that successfully twice.

Here’s the draft CV we sent Axelrod to fact-check earlier this month:

-- Director, University of Chicago Institute of Politics (AB ’76);

-- Political consultant, Axelrod Strategies. On behalf of his former firm, Axelrod’s newest client is Mario Monti, running for prime minister of Italy;

-- Consultant, Organizing for Action (which is Obama’s campaign operation turned nonprofit advocacy organization);

-- Informal adviser, President Obama;

-- Paid public speaker;

-- Paid TV pundit;

-- Writer (we asked weeks ago about the former journalist’s plans to pen a book or regular articles, and he suggested that that’s in the works);

-- Philanthropist and fundraiser, including for Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). (Axelrod helped raise $1 million after pledging to shave off his mustache live on MSNBC.)

“I've been very fortunate in my life to have the opportunities I've had, and I'm very excited about this next phase," Axelrod told RCP Tuesday.

Obama’s top strategist, it would seem, is making a run at qualifying for that still-pending Buffett Rule.

Alexis Simendinger covers the White House for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at asimendinger@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @ASimendinger.

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