Is Dodd Done?

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.

Christopher_Dodd_official_portrait_2-cropped.jpgJust 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:

The trouble began with Dodd’s presidential campaign when he famously attempted to win over the voters in the Iowa caucus by moving his entire family to the state and enrolling his daughter in an Iowa kindergarten. Iowa, you may remember, responded enthusiastically and awarded him nearly 1 percent of the vote. Connecticut was mortified.

Mortified. Exactly.

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.

427px-Richard_Blumenthal_at_West_Hartford_library_opening.jpgMore 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.

Death – Close To Home

I guess I’ve been thrust into writing this, as two people I know I have died in the past day or two. Both were sudden – at least to me. Both were unexpected and shocking, if for no other reason than age. We don’t expect people to die in their 30s or 40s.

Last night I got a note from a friend of Helaine’s cousin.

What started as a bacterial skin infection about six months ago eventually claimed her life.

If you are shocked at the news, you are among many friends & relatives who feel the same way. Rich is, understandably, stunned more than anyone. Although Caryn had been dealing with the infection as it spread, her health, condition and spirits had already improved dramatically before she suddenly died. Please understand: both Caryn and Rich chose to tell very few people about her illness because both of them were convinced of her speedy and full recovery.

I think Caryn was in her mid 30s. That’s not long enough.

Today, just after walking into work I was told Tom, who I’ve worked with for 20 years, had lost his wife Anne. Again, it was sudden and she was young, with small children.

I remember when Tom and Anne started dating. She was a waitress at the time and brought huge platters of seafood with her when she came to visit. We liked her for selfish reasons before we were smart enough to like her for being nice.

She was his compass and seemed the perfect companion. They always looked happy together… content.

I’ve spoken to Helaine about both of these tragedies and she reminds me, this is why you have to live every day. But really, that’s an oversimplification.

Our society is set up so you can’t live every day as if it were your last. You do need to take a long term outlook. Isn’t that one of the most important things you mpart to your child – to look at life in the long term?

There is just no upside to death and no real way to live your life as if you anticipate it. It’s all so sad.