David Axelrod was an integral part of the team that helped President Barack Obama win election in 2008. But according to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the expert political hand had a different candidate in mind, several years before.
"In fact, David Axelrod, who works for Obama and very correctly picked the right horse, after the 2004 presidential election, called me the Wednesday after," Blagojevich said in an interview on WGN Monday, "and talked to me about considering running for president in 2008."
That's right: according to Blago, Axelrod approached him about running for president.
It seems surprising, given remarks made by the strategist just two weeks ago in Chicago. Axelrod told reporters that he helped Blagojevich get elected to Congress, but was puzzled by his decision to run for Governor in 2002. He didn't think Blagojevich had "the qualities for executive leadership," Axelrod said, according to FOX Chicago.
The Tribune has more of his remarks: "I was surprised when he came to me and said he wanted to run for governor," Axelrod reportedly said. "He couldn't really articulate for me why. …You ought to know what you want to do. You ought to know why you're doing it, and it can't just be that it's cool to be governor."
Still, Blago believes. Watch, starting around 3:10:
The former governor is going on a media blitz prior to his retrial on charges that he attempted to sell an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barack Obama in 2008. That retrial is set to begin with jury selection Wednesday.