David Axelrod on Obama's Presidential Style

The president’s top political strategist on the burdens of the office, his critics, and race.


Kennedy also endured a large degree of public opposition and suspicion in the 1960 campaign because he was Roman Catholic, but it didn't seem to be much of an issue after he took office. "I think that's the natural way," Axelrod says, applying the premise to Obama. "I think that frequent exposure, watching someone do the job, helps dispel a lot of the negative thoughts, to the extent they're worrying. Whether they support him or not, I think most people have embraced him as president."

Ten months into his administration, Barack Obama will try to prolong that embrace as long as he can.

  • See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.
  • Read 10 Things You Didn't Know About David Axelrod.
  • See who's in Obama's inner circle.