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article imageAxelrod Down Plays Influence On Obama And Slams Miss California

By Raymond Bochman     May 16, 2009 in Politics
In the Hot Seat on NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" program, White House senior adviser David Axelrod, bushes off questions about his influence over President Obama and makes a joke at Carrie Prejean’s expense.
NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" is modeled after old fashion quiz shows and test a contestants knowledge of current news stories. The program is hosted by playwright Peter Sagal and newscaster Carl Kasell.
Mr. Axelrod is former journalist with a reputation for his "snappy sound bites." And he did not disappoint during his appearance on the program. He joked about subjects ranging from Obama's perfection to the current dust up caused by Carrie Prejean with her comment at the Miss America contest.
When he was queried about his influence about the choice of the First Dog Bo Axelrod came back with “I was only called in for the final three, and one was Miss California.”
When Peter Sagal asked him if whether he's "an evil or a benevolent genius” Axelrod took that as a comparison to former White house adviser Karl Rove. He fired back that he was nothing like Rove who he says "tried to run the Republican Party [from] out of the White House.” Also noting that "he's not an ideologue but an idealist whose goal is to help communicate whatever message the president decides is best."
When he was pushed harder on the subject of his influence over President Obama he said that his it was "minimal" and that his big play to give his advice to the president was done by “passing a note to the person on the left.”
The strangest statement of the night came when the hosts tried to poke fun at President Obama with question related to "obscure failed Utopias" In response Mr. Axelrod strongly insisted that "despite hurdles in the campaign, the Obama administration was meant to be."
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