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Would Barack Obama have been elected president without David Axelrod? That question is less far-fetched than it may seem. To be sure, Obama is a man of prodigious talents — the most magnetic presidential candidate since Jack Kennedy, whip smart, fiercely competitive, burning with passion and ambition even as ice water runs through his veins. He was going places in a hurry long before he had political advisers. Yet a strong case can be made it was the partnership he formed with Axelrod and then with the campaign staff Axelrod assembled that propelled him to the White House. Axelrod is too self-effacing and loyal to take credit, but his new memoir, “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics,” reinforces the view that leadership is becoming less about a single, heroic individual and increasingly about extraordinary teams.


Gergen, David. "David Axelrod’s Believer." Review of Believer: My Forty Years in Politics, by David Axelrod. New York Times, February 2015: 12.