David Axelrod has just accepted the position of Senior Adviser in the White House. He is 53 years old and also lives in Chicago. He has been Obama's top adviser in the 2004 campaign for the US Senate and later as chief strategist for the 2008 presidential campaign.
David was born on New York's Lower East side in Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan, and grew up in a middle-class Jewish household. His father was a psychologist and avid baseball fan. His mother was a journalist at a left-wing 1940s newspaper. When he was 8 years old, his parents separated.
He got into politics when he was very young because he believes in idealism. At age 13 he was selling campaign buttons for Robert F. Kennedy. He attended the U. of Chicago where he majored in political science. There he met a business student, Susan Landau, his future wife whom he married in 1979. Axelrod has helped many black candidates win support from white voters -- for mayoral candidates in Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit -- and has been one of Obama's closest advisers for years.
To have two top men on Obama's staff who are Jewish after worrying all this time that there would be no one to defend Israel is another miracle to me. David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel will be good buffers against all the slander from Israel's pugnacious neighbors who can't seem to stop fighting.