Former Top Obama Adviser Calls New Joe Biden Ad “Tasteless”

David Axelrod isn’t a fan of the Draft Biden campaign’s latest commercial.

Draft Biden, the super-PAC agitating for the vice president to enter the 2016 presidential race, released its first TV commercial Wednesday morning. And boy, was it a maudlin doozy. The 90-second ad features a Biden voiceover, taken from a 2015 Yale commencement address, with the vice president detailing the car accident that killed his wife and daughter shortly after he won his Senate seat in 1972. As Biden speaks, the ad flashes black-and-white photos of Biden over his career in the Senate leading up to his time in the Obama White House. The ad ends with a solemn black screen and the plea, “Joe, run.”

Draft Biden plans to dump six figures into broadcasting the ad, including during the first Democratic debate next week, per NPR. But not everyone was a fan of Draft Biden using Biden’s personal tragedy for political ends. David Axelrod, Obama’s past chief campaign strategist, took to Twitter, suggesting that ad was “exploitative” and “tasteless.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend