David Axelrod's campaign rally appearance on behalf of his client, Barack Obama, on Thursday in Boston was highly unusual. Campaign consultants typically craft the message and produce the event, but they are not the headliners. The candidate or the candidate's family may be, or the best surrogates that can be found or bought with favors might headline, but the consultant? It's a rookie move, and David Axelrod is no rookie. So why did he headline that event in Boston yesterday?
Dana Perrino has an idea. On The Five a few minutes ago, the panel discussed that event and how bad Ax came off in it. The contrast between that flop and Romney's standupper at Solyndra was too much for even the hack media to ignore. In my opinion, Ax looked awful and thin skinned, he seemed to lose control and the event was a complete backfire. Romney won the week even before today's bad jobs numbers came out. Perrino closed the segment with an observation about the Boston debacle: The Obama campaign sent Axelrod out to do it because they're afraid of using anyone else. They can't depend on any surrogates to stick to the campaign's message.
There's something to that. Bill Clinton is just the most recent heavyweight Democrat and Obama surrogate to criticize the campaign's talking points. More than a dozen Democrats have already done that, and of the ones who haven't, who looks like a good, reliable spokesman for Obama? Nancy Pelosi? Joe Biden? Jim Clyburn? Who can he use?
So Ax had to do the job himself, and he stunk at it. That's why he's a consultant, and not a candidate. That's also part of the reason we're seeing Obama headline six campaign events in a single day, even when bad news ought to keep him in Washington. He came to DC without many friends, and he may be on his way out of DC with even fewer friends.