David Axelrod, President Obama’s former political advisor and campaign manager, is now the first head of a Chicago-based nonpartisan research center for students to study the craft of politics.
Axelrod, a University of Chicago alumni, has been chosen as the first director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, and presided over the Institute’s grand opening.
He told reporters that he hopes it becomes a place future leaders will come to understand the modern political world and how to succeed in it, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
“I want them to first of all understand that politics and public service is not a game but a calling and that there’s honor and nobility in it,” Axelrod said.
Axelrod told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
that his goal with the institute is to help students engage with politics and understand the potential they can have in the political sphere by hosting veteran politicians and strategists who will hold seminars and serve as speakers that students can learn from.
“My goal and my measure of success is if we look back, 5, 10, 15 years from now and we see out in the public arena as strategists, as candidates, as commentators and journalists, kids who passed though this program,” he said. “I think through the combination of things we’re doing we’re going to see that happen. And that will be incredibly gratifying. I can’t wait to see what these kids are going to do.”
The opening was attended by political veterans representing all walks of the political world and ideology — Democratic and Republican strategists and politicians alike such as former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol to Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter and Chicago Mayor and Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, many of whom Axelrod personally invited to be members of the Institute’s board.
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