Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dodd Could be Squeezed Out of Race by Obama

If Sen. Barack Obama gets into the presidential race, which is looking more and more likely, he may wind up dashing the chances of lesser-known candidates like Sen. Chris Dodd. From the Courant:
"If Dodd is counting on black support, and Sen. Obama as well as Hillary Clinton are in the race, Dodd is in trouble," said David A. Bositis, senior research associate at Washington's Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which studies African American voter trends.
Dodd's troops say that whatever moves Obama or anyone else makes will not influence the Connecticut senator's possible entry into the White House race, a decision he hopes to make next month. (Lightman)

Obama could be the perfect candidate for the Democrats. He's relatively young, he's neither too liberal nor too conservative, and he has star power that even Hillary Clinton can't hope to match. Dodd will probably try to tout his own long, long, long record in Washington--but I have a feeling that voters aren't going to be looking for experience. George W. Bush had served exactly six years in government when he became president--Obama will have served eight. Dodd will have served thirty-five.

Best of all, he's a new face. He wasn't there to vote on authorizing the Iraq War, he wasn't around for Bill Clinton's scandals or for the fall of the Democrats in 1994. Better yet, he was born in 1961--which by some measures puts him out of the baby boom and into Generation X. Regardless of where he falls on the generational map, he isn't carrying around the kind of cultural baggage that makes so many of our leaders paint Iraq and today's issues with the broad brush of the 1960s and Vietnam. The question of what a candidate did during that time has often come back to haunt them. Ask George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and John Kerry.

Then again, it's very, very early and Obama's relative youth and inexperience could wind up costing him. He could be a flash in the pan, starting strong and fading away as the summer of 2007 wears on, leaving the field to Hillary. The media could turn on him, like they turned on Dean. We'll see.

The only thing that's certain right now is that Dodd still has about zero chance.

Lightman, David. "Obama Fever: Dodd At Risk." Hartford Courant 12 December, 2006.


Anonymous said...

i think it is a HUGE waste of time to buy into MSM's obsession with the presidential race, which is TWO YEARS AWAY. i was schooled by jesuits who taught me that grace comes from doing one's best to do one's duty in the station in life to which it has pleased god to call one. so: we have huge problems in this country which need to be addressed by our senators, reps and governors. let them work at the jobs they have now, show leadership, come up with good ideas, work for passage of these programs, and help lead us out of this mess. if they do, i think candidates will emerge naturally and we will back them.

BrassBoy said...

Genghis, we don't know if he is too liberal yet (I'm assuming he's not going to be "too conservative"). Most of the electorate knows nothing about him other than MSM's early love affair with him.

At this point, all I see are stories about Obama being received like a "rock star" every where he goes, but not for any other reason than for being Obama. He's basically popular for being popular at this point.

Grumpy said...

Anon 8:24 - It isn't the "MSM" that is obsessed with the presidential race. It's the politico's who have that particular obsession. Journalists are simply doing their job by reporting on where our illustrious elected leaders are focusing their attention.

And by the way, if you read Lightman's article, you'll notice that he reports very well on the cynical crap that is modern "political strategy." The article focuses on two of the factors assumed to be required for winning the Democrat's nomination. First is ability to raise hundreds of millions of campaign dollars from special interests. (Don't expect any serious efforts to roll back the Republican's assault on consumer protection laws to come out of Dodd's banking committee.) Second is ability to pander to the African American community. (When it comes to considering "their" votes, politicians of both parties are stuck in a perverse sort of "separate but equal" mentality that assumes black voters aren't swayed by the same issues as the rest of the nation.)

Your sentiments are perfectly valid. It would be wonderful if presidential aspirants decided the best way to position themselves for a run at the white house was to focus on doing the best job they could addressing the problems facing this country. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen without fundamental change in the laws governing how we elect our leaders.

Power and ambition rule the day in American democracy. Noble notions of selfless public service only get you a role as a "fringe candidate" in the big dance. (Note to students in 9th grade civics classes - your teacher is lying.)

Anonymous said...

Dodd never had a chance to begin with. He hasn't accomplished anything and he is not a leader. He is a career politician who didn't have to campaign. Speculate all you want. Just be sure to fill in the sentence, "Dodd should be President because ..." Until you can do that with something credible, the nomination is Hillary's or Obama's to lose.

Matt said...

I'll reserve judgement on Obama until he takes a stand on some issue of consequence. If the field was Obama, Clinton, and Dodd, and I had to vote tomorrow, I'd pick Dodd. At least he's been putting in an effort.

cgg said...

Sooner or later Obama will have a flop moment. The real test will be to see whether or not he survives it.

Dodd is sort of growing on me, but as Genghis pointed out I think it's time for someone new. And even though I like Dodd, Edwards, and to a lesser degree Hillary I'm really uncomfortable supporting any Democrat who voted yes on the Iraq war resolution.

wasademocrat said...

Once again, slim pickings for the Democrats. Hillary cannot win (I say this as a social liberal woman) because of her baggage - and she's seen as a do anything for power Washington insider; Obama is too inexperienced although he has great charisma and a lot of promise - but who is he really?; Dodd - who thinks he can possibly appeal to anyone outside of CT - a career, northeastern elite Democrat (sounds a lot like Kerry, doesn't it - I voted for Kerry and Gore but they were votes against Bush, not for either deomcratic candidate). Can't the democrats do any better than this??? A head of cabbage could beat these three.

bluecoat said...

There never was an "Iraq war" resolution, cgg, just a resolution authorizing the use of necessary force to disarm Iraq. Bush, unfortunatley, took it as a "blank check" to invade for whatever reason such as those that the "average Joe" need not understand.

A Head of Cabbage said...

was a democrat,
Thank you for your early endorsement. See you on the campaign trail!

Genghis Conn said...

Obama has the potential to be a strong candidate. I really think this is his best shot--if he waits, he may not get another chance until 2016.

But yeah, not a strong field for the Dems. But not the greatest field for the GOP, either. McCain won't get past the primaries (GOP primary voters are not his friends), Giuliani has a ton of skeletons in his closet, the rest are unknowns. Romney may have a shot.

LitchfieldAngelina said...

By January 2000, Bush had a ton of money from many, many, many small donations. His huge pile of cash made it extremely difficult for any Republican to try to knock him off in the Primary. Hillary and McCain will have similar fortunes by January 2008. Kerry can have a similar fortune by being nice to his sweet wife. Bloomberg, who will not be in a Primary but who will start running as an Independent in early 2008, has the largest pot of cash of any presidential candidates. Anyone else who wants to compete with these candidates needs to get started ASAP in order to have received enough in contributions to put up a decent fight.

Hussein Osama, as Ted Kennedy will likely refer to the Obama guy when he's in his regular drunken state of mind, can probably make a strong challenge for the Democratic Primary, but he'll need to get his financial ammunition prepared soon.

Dodd is a joke. He's just jealous of how much attention the junior Senator from Connecticut has received during the last eight years and he wants to pretend to be in the same league.

Huckabee should be an interesting candidate to follow -- not that I have any interest in a politician from Arkansas. He's been a governor and successful presidential candidates frequently have gubernatorial experience. He's also got the conservative values that might be adored by Republicans during the Primary season. He only has about three dollars right now, but if he can manage to get $50 million during 2007, then he will probably be difficult for McCain to deal with ...

Mirror said...

Back in the dark ages of the 80's I found myself one dark, sleeting frozen night driving to the bridge in Haddam. As I approached the curve in front of the Gelston House a man drunkenly stumbled across the road directly into the path of my car. I jerked the wheel and missed him by inches. I stopped and sat their shaking at how close I came to having a senator as a hood ornament.

GMR said...

It's early to speculate, and in both parties, it's possible for someone to emerge from the woodwork who now is a relative unknown.

In December of 1990, i.e., 16 years ago, few people had ever heard of Bill Clinton, and those that did would have remembered that tedious nomination speech he gave at the 1988 Democratic convention (when he was endorsing Mike Dukakis, and his 1/2 hour speech went for about 2 1/2 hours and when he said "in conclusion", people clapped and cheered).

In December of 1974, few people knew Jimmy Carter either, and he went on to win.

Money is a factor, and LitchfieldAngelina is right, that serious candidates either need to start raising money now or be really wealthy. Hillary and Obama can raise money. I just don't see a Dodd money machine. Romney, McCain and Guiliani could likely all raise necessary funds.

But in the next few months, we could see someone else emerge as well...

Anonymous said...

"few people knew Jimmy Carter either, and he went on to win."

That was a dark day for America eh?