David Axelrod was a calming influence on the Obama 2012 campaign team and helped focus on middle-class voters.
Associated Press file photo
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, right, and vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan campaign in October in Celina, Ohio.
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A top adviser to President Barack Obama's re-election campaign says one of the biggest surprises of the 2012 election was Mitt Romney's choice of a running mate. Speaking to students at the University of Chicago Monday, senior strategist David Axelrod said by choosing Congressman Paul Ryan, Romney played to his base at a time when he needed to be broadening his appeal.