Barack Obama’s former chief campaign strategist David Axelrod sat down with MSNBC for an interview at the University of Chicago recently, where he is currently the director of the Institute of Politics. During the interview, he shared a few details about what it was like being so close to the POTUS. He even had a funny little anecdote about a birthday gift Obama received from basketball’s greatest of all time, Michael Jordan.
In the front hall [at the Institute of Politics is] a signed poster of Michael Jordan. “When the president turned 50, I wanted to get him something special … so I sent [the poster] to Jordan to have him sign it for me.” In black Sharpie, Jordan scrawled, ‘To Barrack: you still owe me dinner. Wishing you well, Michael Jordan.’ I gave it to the president and he said, ‘I can’t put this up, he misspelled my name!’ So I said, ‘Fine, I’ll take it.'”
A story like this one is how I know I could never be put in a power position like chief campaign strategist. As soon as I learned that the President would turn down gifts if his name was spelled wrong, I’d be asking people to spell it wrong on purpose. “Mr. President, someone else spelled your name wrong in a gift again, but don’t worry, I’ll take this one too.” I’m sure he’d catch on after the fourth or fifth time, but I’d have quite the collection of gifts by then.