Just as I was getting set for bed the Twitterverse started going a little nuts with word Senator Christopher Dodd will announce he’s not running for reelection to his Senate seat. The announcement, if true, is a shocker even though I’ve been telling anyone who’d listen he was unelectable.
Unelectable candidates run all the time. They lose. I assume he figured that out.
He’s run and won six times. Thirty years in the Senate. Quite a record. Alas, here in Connecticut the bloom is off the rose.
Every time a sleazy rock is turned over concerning banking or finances there seems to be signs Chris Dodd has been there. His mortgage deal with Countrywide, sweetheart or not, never seemed like the kind of deal I’d get.
In the NY Times Gail Collins wrote of his opportunism and Connecticut’s skepticism:
I’ve only met Chris Dodd three of four times in my 25 years here. At a UCONN basketball victory parade I jumped on the back of a flatbed truck and interviewed Dodd and Joe Lieberman on live TV.
The truck began to move as I was clumsily climbing on. Senator Dodd leaned over and reached out to help. He has the softest hands I have ever felt on a man!
A few years ago I walked into the conference room as Ann Nyberg was getting set to interview him. I looked at the Senator and said, “I’m just a typical American boy from a typical American town.”
Nyberg was confused. She flashed a quizzical look. Too young to understand.
Dodd smiled and continued, “I believe in God and Senator Dodd and keeping old Castro down.”
We were doing lines from Phil Ochs’ “Draft Dodger Rag.” The Senator Dodd in the song was Chris Dodd’s dad, Tom. Being in the Senate was like being in a family business.
To me it has always seemed Connecticut is an address of convenience for Senator Dodd. He’s from Connecticut the way ships are registered in Liberia and Panama or businesses are incorporated in Delaware and the Cayman’s.
More than likely this opens the door for Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to run.
For Republicans this is a worst case scenario. Dodd was weak. Blumenthal is strong and well liked. It will be tough to muddy this consumer oriented former Marine.
Dick Blumenthal is a retail politician appearing and pressing the flesh at more events than any three other pols in Connecticut. I suspect more Connecticut residents have had personal contact with the AG than any other elected official. That kind of stuff pays off.
Now I can go to sleep.
9 thoughts on “Is Dodd Done?”
I was astounded at first this morning to hear about Sen. Dodd’s retirement, but as I began to think about it more, he was beleaguered from the time of the Countrywide scandal. Add in the scare he got with the discovery of prostate cancer, and he must have realized that it was time to retire.
As for AG Blumenthal – he is probably NOW the right man at the right time. We in CT will miss his advocacy, but he should prove to be a strong voice for CT even if on a national scale he is a bit of a political newcomer.
Dodd failed because:
1) He epitomizes the image of the career politician. Only makes public appearances if it serves him somehow. Always in a suit. I lived and worked in East Haddam for 5 years and never bumped into him once. Totally out of touch with the concerns of average people.
All career politicians should note this paradigm shift, American’s taste in politicians is changing fast.
2) He took private interest perks with no remorse. For example, is wife was connected to AIG (IPC), Chris allowed AIG bonuses when the public wanted their pound of flesh from Wall St. The public saw this as reinforcing the image of him working for private interest, not taxpayers. It was impunity incarnate.
3) Mortgage questions. They were never addressed, just dusted off in a nonchalant manner. The public was getting foreclosed on and he didn’t even have the RESPECT to level with taxpayers.
Remember “Where’s the Beef”? Americans are TIRED and WEARY of the same empty campaign lip-service they have been getting for decades. Politicians who can be easily connected to private interest are an endangered species. Americans want LESS SPENDING and LESS PRIVATE INTEREST in politics.
Blumenthal- he’s been fighting for consumer rights for years and the public respects that. Put the public has also been put off a little by some of the overzealous efforts, particularly the recent attempt at banning wood-burning boilers. Lots of people in small towns are livid about that, lots of voters out there….
Blumenthal has been a public advocate for over 30 years. A part of me wishes this situation was reversed –> where Lamont seeks the senate and Blumenthal goes for the executive job. I think his intellect and legal prowess would serve him well at the state capitol vs the cesspool that is the U.S. Congress
This is why I rarely discuss politics outside my closest friends. I’m not one for the Blumenthal bandwagon. My experience with him is that he is a very sinister politician. In the guise of a concerned public servant, his every move has been calculated to benefit himself in his climb to be the most powerful man in CT and beyond. He has done and will continue to do a lot of good, but pity those who get in his way to stardom.
My mother was a member of a local Democratic Town Committee in the late 1970’s – early 1980s. She was diagnosed with leukemia in 1980 – She had been sent home to die when there was nothing left to do for her medically. She was staying with her parents, and one day there was a knock on our door. It was Senator Dodd, with our local mayor. He had come to visit my mother, and to say “thank you” for her service to the local Democratic party. It was summer, it was 80 degrees in my grandparents apartment with no air conditioning. He stayed for a while, dressed casually, and with no press. It meant a lot to my mother. Although his image has been tarnished, it doesn’t mean we should forget he served CT for many years. He was re-elected six times – he couldn’t have been as horrible as every one makes him out to be. I wish him well in his retirement and his battle with cancer.
Hard to believe Geoff, I agree with everything you said!!!!
With Senator DUDD out of the way, Blumenthal can follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. And what could be wrong about two Yids representing Connecticut?
If the voters continue to elect Democrats considering how well the ruined the state for business, jobs and the budget, then they deserve everything they get. Bluementhal rated by the Competitive Enterprise Institute as the worst of the Top Ten Worst AGs with Blumenthal as #1. http://cei.org/pdf/5719.pdf
What was that line of Quint’s from Jaws?
“Soft hands Mr. Cooper. Spent all yer life countin’ money.” Or something like that.