Pay Cut, Scrutiny Await Axelrod in DC

Consultant's finances would come into sharp focus
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2008 10:13 AM CST
Advisers, David Axelrod, right, and Robert Gibbs talk with the media en route with Barack Obama to a primary night rally in St Paul, Minn., in this June 3, 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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(Newser) – David Axelrod would pay a steep price to follow his most famous client to the White House, Politico reports. Barack Obama’s right-hand man would probably have to sell his stakes in the lucrative consulting firms he founded  and open his finances to public scrutiny. Axelrod’s firms have collected more than $35 million since 1998 for various political and lobbying jobs, including $2.5 million from Obama’s campaign.

How much Axelrod pocketed isn't clear, but oit's certainly enough to dwarf a $200,000 government job. “Money is not the driving factor here,” said one consultant. Obama and Axelrod’s friendship “goes beyond a traditional client-consultant relationship.” But Axelrod would also be exposing Obama to questions about his firm’s past dealings; the RNC chairman says people should compare Axelrod to Karl Rove, who gave up a similar firm in 1999.