Axelrod joins NBC News as political analyst

Dylan Stableford

David Axelrod, the former White House senior adviser and senior strategist for President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, has joined NBC News and MSNBC as a senior political analyst.

He joins a roster that includes former John McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt, ex-Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. Last week, Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and senior adviser to Obama's 2012 campaign, signed on with NBC News and MSNBC as a contributor.

For Axelrod, it's something of a return to his roots: Before making the jump to politics in 1984, Axelrod spent eight years at the Chicago Tribune as a political writer, columnist and City Hall bureau chief. And he's had a particularly close relationship with MSNBC, appearing as a frequent guest on "Morning Joe" during the past campaign cycle.

Before the 2012 election, Axelrod agreed to shave off his signature 'stache if his candidate lost Michigan, Minnesota or Pennsylvania—and for Scarborough to grow one if Obama won Florida. The day after the election (and with Florida too close to call), Axelrod agreed to release Scarborough—a former Republican congressman from the Sunshine State—from his end of the bet if the MSNBC host helped him raise money for epilepsy research. Scarborough did so and, in December, Axelrod's mustache was shaved off live on "Morning Joe."

Axelrod's daughter, Lauren, was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 7 months old. Axelrod and his wife, Susan, co-founded CURE in 1998, raising more than $20 million for research since its inception.