Now that President Obama is all settled in to his second term, campaign adviser David Axelrod is lending a hand to Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who is working on his own re-election bid. Monti’s opposition, the Italian Democratic Party, is not happy to see Axelrod sticking his newly mustache-less face into Italy’s politics, and they’ve created an attack ad to express their feelings on the subject. And while Axelrod has faced a wide, wide variety of attack ads in his time, we’re pretty sure he’s never seen one quite like this. The ad, which is featured on the party’s website, has been translated as, “A guru recommended to Monti to attack his opponents. But the guru, sooner or later, will leave and Italy’s problems will remain.” Fair enough — Axelrod is an American political strategist working abroad, after all.
What’s lost in the translation is the ad’s photo, which seems to be a play on the similarities between Axelrod’s last name and that of Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose. Sure, Rose has been something of a disappointment for the last couple decades or so, but are Italians really that upset by his failure to deliver Chinese Democracy? Or is something else going on here?