Magazine November 3, 2008, Issue

Barack’s Grenade-Lobber

President Obama with senior advisor David Axelrod in 2009 (White House via Flickr)
Meet political strategist David Axelrod

Imagine the following scenario: A handsome, charismatic minority candidate defeats a heavily favored Democratic insider for the presidential nomination in an acrimonious race that drags out all the way to the convention. He then finds himself running in the general election against an aging, moderate Republican senator frequently at odds with his own party. 

The current presidential race? Maybe, but it’s also the plot of the final season of The West Wing, which aired in 2005 and 2006. The similarities are not entirely coincidental. 

Barack Obama’s chief strategist, legendary political consultant David Axelrod, was fresh off Obama’s successful Senate race when Eli

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