The Vetting: Axelrod's Sexism in Chicago

The Vetting: Axelrod's Sexism in Chicago

David Axelrod asked Diane Silverman, a woman candidate for Alderman, if her husband “would control” her vote. “I doubt Mr. Axelrod asked male candidates… if their wives would control their votes,” she wrote in a 1974 letter to the editor. “Please. Spare us such naked chauvinism and sexism in this campaign.”


Rather than apologize, Axelrod, then a columnist for the Hyde Park Herald, actually defended his outrageous accusation, calling his own question “astute.”

In a lengthy reply, he pointed out that her husband is influential in Chicago politics. “He is a man who can and has affected the outcome of elections,” Axelrod wrote. “If he plans his wife’s campaign, she will enjoy the sources of a first rate political organizer.”

Today, Obama enjoys the resources of David Axelrod, who is also a first-rate political organizer who helped Obama get elected to the U.S. Senate and later to the presidency. 

Is it now fair to ask if Axelrod controls Obama?