WASHINGTON--White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod will be returning to Chicago after President Obama's State of the Union speech--moving up his departure date that was once pegged as no later than Memorial Day.
Axelrod is leaving sooner than originally planned in order to get the "re-elect geared up pretty soon and to get some rest," a White House source told me. Obama's 2012 re-election campaign will be run mainly out of Chicago--and starting sooner than some thought.
The date of the State of the Union has not been set--but it is expected to be late January or early February.
Axelrod's departure has long been expected. He had been telling people earlier this year that he would be gone by Memorial Day. His new departure timeline was scooped by CNN's Ed Henry.
Leaving the White House earlier will give Axelrod--who has worked steadily since Obama announced for president in 2007--a solid chunk of time to recharge. For the Obama re-elect, Axelrod is expected to resume the role he had in 2008--that of overall strategist.
David Plouffe, Obama's 2008 campaign manager--and Axelrod's former business partner at the Chicago based firm he founded, now called AKPD--is expected to join the White House as a top strategist. Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina is expected to move to Chicago to run the campaign.