Obama to Order Iraq Withdrawal on Day One, Axelrod Says

"We ought to put all of the politics aside and do what's best for the country. Right now the country is in an economic emergency. And we need to act. And I don't think people are going to have much tolerance for the kind of customary Washington. Now having said that, I think that there are legitimate discussions to have."

Axelrod Defends Geithner Despite Tax 'Mistake'

Axelrod also defended Obama's choice for Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, saying he believes Congress will confirm him after his testimony this week. It was revealed this week that Geithner failed to pay roughly $34,000 in back taxes when he was working at the IMF.

"He has paid those taxes... when it was pointed out that he had made a mistake on his taxes," Axelrod said. "The mistake he made which was when he was overseas serving our country in the IMF, everyone agrees it's a common mistake that people working overseas make. He's corrected it."

"I think when people look at Tim Geithner though, they should look at a guy who has devoted his life to public service, who was an integral part in solving another international financial crisis in the '90s and has vast experience and great insights," Axelrod urged. "He is precisely the kind of person we need in the Treasury right now. And I think when people get to know him, he's going to testify this week, I think he's going to inspire great confidence."

Inauguration Speech to Focus on Responsibility

Finally, Axelrod offered some insight into Obama's highly anticipated inauguration speech on Tuesday, hinting that Obama's address will be themed around the concept of personal responsibility.

"One thing about Barack Obama, his themes have been consistent not just through this campaign, but through his public life," Axelrod said.

"From his convention speech in 2004 through today. So I don't think you're going to be surprised by what you hear. I think he's going to talk about where we are as a country, but also who we are as a people. And what responsibilities accrue to us as a result of that. And what we have to do to move forward. I'm not going to handicap whether it's going to be a great speech, a good speech or -- but I have confidence in the message that he wants to deliver and I don't think you'll be surprised by it."

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