Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dodd on the Run

So it's official.

Sen. Dodd announced his candidacy for president this morning on Imus in the Morning, which seems a strange place to launch a campaign from. Why, for example, didn't he do this in Connecticut?

He'll be heading to Iowa and South Carolina soon, there to tout his experience, his opposition to the Iraq War, and the fact that he's a nice guy who isn't Hillary Clinton. He will be relying on his affable, personable nature and strong talents as an orator to rise above the crowd there.

There's a website:, with plenty of multimedia, plays on the word "Dodd" (for example, the Dodd Pod seems to be a collection of podcasts) and the obligatory campaign blog. There are already some issues posted, although a quick glance shows little that separates him from the rest of what is becoming a crowded field.

There's also money: about $5 million in the bank. That may be the only plus so far.

What there isn't, at least yet, is any kind of buzz about the campaign. Kevin Rennie called Dodd's bid a "busman's holiday of a campaign" and suggested that state Democrats were less than thrilled with it.

This will be the most difficult campaign Dodd has ever run. His chances, let's admit, are not good. Even Joe Lieberman began the last cycle in better position, and he ended up in a three way tie for third in New Hampshire. There's no evidence Dodd will fare much better than that.

Which begs the question: why is Dodd actually running? Is it, as Rennie suggests, simple vanity? Is he really running for Vice President, or for a Cabinet post in President Obama, Edwards or Clinton's administration? Or it could just be a nice way to cap a long and generally distinguished career.

Then again, maybe he actually believes that he can win.

In any event, our senior senator is now officially running for president. What's your reaction?

Dodd is running for president!
Oh, boy!
Should be a fun ride
Eh, it's sort of exciting
Call me when he gets above 1% in the polls
Someone really needs to chain our senators down
Free polls from
You can also go post about it in the forum.


Anonymous said...

Yet another senator who will be busy out campaigning instead of going to Senate sessions to vote and represent us.
I wonder how many votes he'll miss.

Genghis Conn said...

Well, it's not like the Senate's controlled by a single vote or anything, right?

ctkeith said...

Name one person from eother party runing for President with more foreign policy xperience than Chris Dodd.

Dodd may not be a media darling like Obama and Hillary but I'd say he knows his way around DC and the world and has proven COMPETENT.

Wouldn't it be refreshing to have a COMPETNT President who doesn't believe he speaks to God or is God.

Genghis Conn said...

Easy: Bill Richardson, who just brokered a peace deal in Sudan, and has more experience with Korea than just about anybody.

He would make an excellent president, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Dodd talks to mirrors.

Anonymous said...

To me it seems like a real long shot even for Dodd to get anyone outside of CT to even give him a second thought, but so what, it's his call.

I am much more concerned that once again one of our sitting US Senators will probably spend the better part of this next year running around the country pretending to be listening to anyone who's hand they can shake. Of course then they will tell us that what they hearing all across the country is exactly why they are running in the first place.

It does eat at me that these guys can work full time trying for another job, while at the same time not do the very job they asked us to elect them to, and are being paid to do, in the first place. One would think that with only 100 Senators across the entire country their's must be a full time 24/7 job. Not some part time job with endless time off.

I wonder just how many of these Senators would run for President if they had to at least temporally step out of that office and let the governor of that state appoint someone to that office while they tour the country? Seems to make sense to me. If your not going to be doing your job for a while and given that it must be an important job to begin, with why not??

Or better even yet..... How about term limits on all these guys in the House and Senate after say 18 years??? Then they could run for any office they want, without anyone worrying about them not doing the job they were elected to do in the first place.

Anonymous said...

No way Dodd can win the nomiation. Another old white guy. The Mommy party wants, well, a Mommy.

Anonymous said...

None of these guys -- and gals -- really work, or least, produce anything outside of words and publicity. They are all egomaniacs who are only looking for the next and better job.

ctkeith said...


Richardson was in charge of the Energy dept during its worst scandal in History. Does Wen Ho Lee ring a bell?

Richardson hasn't announced yet and in my opinion he has far more negatives than Dodd evenif he does get in.

Genghis Conn said...

True--but I don't think a lot of people really remember that scandal. Besides, he has a track record of real accomplishments in foreign affairs, which would help to balance out his problems at Energy.

Anonymous said...

Which begs the question: why is Dodd actually running? Is it, as Rennie suggests, simple vanity? Is he really running for Vice President, or for a Cabinet post in President Obama, Edwards or Clinton's administration? Or it could just be a nice way to cap a long and generally distinguished career.

(E) All of the above. Plus he has money and what he thinks is a unique angle with "experience"

disgruntled_republican said...

While I am not behind Dodd, and never will be, I think he is going to fair well. May even wind up as VP nominee. First, as ctkeith points out, his experience, at just about every level, is untouchable. No other candidate or potential candidate can say that. Next, outside of Connecticut and the beltway, average voters don't know a ton about him. The fact that he is an excellent speaker will be a huge asset to him.

All in all, he is a likeable person who isn't above "getting his hands dirty" on the campaign trail and we all know he can raise a boat load of money. Plus he isn't Hillary. Don't discount him yet.

Anonymous said...

Boy I can't wait to hear the outrage from CT Democrats when he misses a vote because campaigning. I'm sure that will happen...

bluecoat said...

Dodd and Kerry are close personal friends. I am wondering if there are any dynamics here. Kerry just doesn't have the charisma to run but he had a campaign staff that got him damn close to knocking of (whoops that sounds like a threat doens' it) Bush. With a better haircut Dodd just might get the Donkey nod.

Anonymous said...

Genghis you said: "Well, it's not like the Senate's controlled by a single vote or anything, right? "

You obviously just don't get it.

It isn't about him missing a vote because he is's because he is supposed to be representing US!!! He was elected to work for us - to vote for us - to REPRESENT US !! He isn't there to further his political career or kiss babies in New Hampshire.

Normally when people don't show up for work they get fired.. now tell me how much money are we paying him? Are we paying him to represent us or to travel the country and shake hands?

He was voted in and hired to do a job.. I expect him to do it.

bluecoat said...

and presumably 11:19:47, you haven't voted for Lieberman since he ran for VP for that very reason.

Genghis Conn said...

Sarcasm, A11:19. Sarcasm.

wtfdnucsubsailor said...

Dodd is articulate, experienced, and has fund raising ability honed by a stint in the DNC chair. He might have an oxygen mask available when Clinton and Obama steel all of the oxygen in the room. He certainly is entitled to give it a try. I also believe he will know when to quit, unlike some past candidates, if it should come to that. However, he is 'Chris Who?' to most of the country. That will be hard to overcome. To those who get upset that a Senator who is making a run for the White House are not representing us in the the legislature - I disagree. If the candidate aquits him or herself well on the campaign trail, they become a more powerful voice in the Senate. CT and New England could use another powerful voice.

Anonymous said...

The subtext to Dodd's announcement is: now Connecticut has NO ONE looking after it and representing it. Nice.

When did Connecticut become the neglected child?

Genghis Conn said...

Anyone else think that announcing a run for president on Imus in the Morning was a little weird?

The Daily Show (Edwards, 2004) I understand. But Imus?

Anonymous said...

ctkeith: If I'm going to pick from entrenched Senators, I get to Biden before Dodd. Dodd's got a good style, but even when he's using his own words, Biden comes across much more real than Dodd does.

Gabe said...

When is he using his own words?

/gratituitous plagerism joke

meteskyjr said...

Dodd is running because he's become bored being a senator (and apparently bored with his young family, and with us, his electorate). He doesn't have the slightest chance of becoming the nominee, and he knows it, but he's clearly hoping that something personally exciting will come from the experience. How much better Connecticut would be served in 2007 by two fresh senators thrilled with the idea of serving us and doing good things for the state and the nation rather than our two rather embarrassing incumbents. I am all for an 18-year limit on a career in the U.S. Senate and 20 years in the House.

Anonymous said...


it would be nice if wishes were horses. it would be nice if a pig had wings.

this is what politicians do. if you think for a second that, had lamont won, he too wouldn't be angling for the next job, then i envy your naivete.

once you get in, you either move up or move down. even vermont's bernie sanders (perhaps the most apolitical politician this country has) sought a promotion and ran for the Senate while serving in the House.

Additionally, senators always leave Washington during the last two years of their terms to campaign for six more. should elected officials not be allowed to run for reelection either?

By your logic, our choice for President would be restricted to political tyros and unemployed has-beens.

Shadow said...

Yeah, Imus sucks. That said, although Dodd has an uphill battle, that's no reason for him not to run. The primary will benefit from a breadth of good candidates running, and that will help to shape the platform of the eventual nominee. I think Obama, Edwards, Dodd, Clark, and even Kucinich would contribute to a robust and diverse debate on the Democratic side; I am considerably less enthusiastic about the DLC crowd of Biden, Vilsack, Clinton, and Richardson, as the DLC's only contribution to their party this cycle was enabling Lieberman to beat the Democratic nominee and criticizing the Dean 50-state strategy that ended up sweeping the country. That doesn't do much to appeal to Democratic primary voters, let alone the 79% of independents nationwide against the Iraq war who will be decisive in 2008. We already have one national party that is owned by corporatism; it would be nice to have an alternative in the voting booth.

(I'm not saying there shouldn't be a DLC candidate in the debates, there should, but it will stagnate the discussion to have the DLC types take up HALF the stage for the first few debates. All of them but HRC will end up getting lost in the noise anyway, then drop out and endorse her; it all just serves to prop up her candidacy as more viable than it is, when in reality she should be waiting for another cycle to run for President due to a whole host of reasons. Ideally, she would stay in the Senate, and the one DLC candidate in the race when the debates start would be Richardson, who would bring a unique, experienced, yet fresh-to-the-general-public background to the table; I'd still be skeptical of him due to his DLC ties, but I'd be willing to give him a fair hearing as I think he could add something to the discussion. Of course, in reality, Hillary will run and all four DLCers will be in the race for a good while; I'm just proposing an ideal scenario for the Democratic primary debates from the perspective of this independent voter.)

Anonymous said...

I think Edwards was a DLC member as well?

Matt said...

Anon 4:15 - yes, which leads me to some initial skepticism about his candidacy.

On the other hand, I don't think Biden is a DLCer, though he and Obama take on their rhetorical posture nonetheless.

For what it's worth, Dodd has probably the best foreign policy stance of the existing candidates, even backing the ICC.

Anonymous said...


the DLC is an organization like any other. does it make sense to attempt to smear any politician associated with it? i sincerely doubt it. you may not like the stances the DLC as an entity takes, and you are certainly free to disagree with the more moderate positions taken by the lion's share of its members, but the instinct to dismiss any candidate because he/she has joined the DLC is, in my humble opinion, wrong-headed and dangerous.

The DLC does not exist because politicians wanted to push more progressive ideologies aside. It exists because some very pragmatic policy-makers realized that--apart from a few districts--strictly progressive candidates were losing to conservative republicans. choosing not to ignore the reality that you can't move policy to the left if you don't get elected to office, these Democrats sought a platform that would enable them to do both.

Let us not forget that the DLC gave us our only successful Democratic presidential candidate since Carter.

A perfect illustration of this problem is the recent gubernatorial campaign we had here in Connecticut. Malloy clearly had the best chance of actually challenging Rell, but the DLC charge was hurled against him. DeStefano won the nomination (albeit narrowly) largely on the strength of the anti-DLC, anti-Lieberman (or pro-Ned--I don't want to split semantic hairs) voter turnout, and then languished at -30 for the entirety of the general election. If you really believe, based on your progressive bona fides, that four years of Rell is better for CT than four years of Malloy, than kudos to you and your ilk. I disagree (and i could argue, quite honestly, that Malloy was the more progressive primary candidate, as he voiced strong opposition to the iraq war and full-throated support for gay marriage long before DeStefano would touch either issue with a ten-foot pole). Nonetheless, a republican won easily as a result.

of course, I can't help notice that hatred of the DLC didn't seem to matter when it came to supporting DLC member Scott Slifka, but i'm sure that was just an oversight.

in the 2004 presidential election, on the other hand, Democrats did choose to go with the candidate perceived as more electable instead of the progressive platform of howard dean, and kerry, as we all know, came up short on election day--an argument often made against strategic voting. i don't know if i believe dean would have posed a more serious challenge to bush, however. isn't it possible that primary voters made the right choice in candidate--but that that candidate ran an absolutely horrible campaign--and still came closer to ousting a republican incumbent than we otherwise would have?

Basically, i want to urge readers to maintain their progressive ideals, but to understand the practical consequences of insisting a candidate agree with them on everything in a primary. too often this serves only to hand elections to candidates with whom you'd agree on even less.

Fuzzy Turtle said...

Imus is still alive? Wow.

way2moderate said...

Look -- the press likes Dodd. Strike that; they love him. Watch and see what happens when he becomes the darling of the electronic press.

He plays extremely well when showcased alongside other, less telegenic speakers. Only Obama has the kind of abilities to move a crowd and charm, and once people are presented with the choice of a freshman senator versus a guy with some distinguished crow's feet, Dodd will begin to take hold.

The press will make his campaign real. Bet on it.

Shadow said...

Edwards may have originally had some ties to the DLC but clearly does not any longer, based on everything he has said and done consistently for years. Biden may not be officially tied to the DLC, but he embraces most of their positions consistnely in both his words and actions. The problem with the DLC is not pragmatism and centrist framing; that's what I like about Obama. But people associated with the DLC have gone way beyond moderate rhetoric, being beholden to many of the same corporate contributions as Republicans, and consequently, many of the same policies. They had absolutely nothing to do with the election victory of 2006 by a grassroots movement, and were if anything, a counterforce; why should Democrats OR antiwar independents logically want to support them at this stage?

(Also, Malloy would have gotten beaten just as badly as DeStefano, as they both were awful, awful candidates; please tell me there are better choices than those two guys.)

Matt said...

I don't take advice from "anonymous," but I will respond:

1: I wasn't "smearing" the DLC, though I could probably muster up a smear if so inclined.

2: The DLC is not a moderate organization, they are a radical organization. Backing escalation in the mideast is not "moderate." I tend to reject their candidates specifically because their rhetorical posture calls moderate positions "progressive" and radically conservative positions "moderate," browbeating actual progressives as being bad for public policy. You have taken on this pose as well. It is dishonest, and actually makes our government more conservative.

3: Did it escape your notice that Slifka lost the nomination as well?

4: ...i don't know if i believe dean would have posed a more serious challenge to bush... That's the funny thing about beliefs, you actually get to decide for yourself. You can say "he wouldn't have been a more serious challenge," but then of course you'd be drawn into a debate on the merit of your claim, which - pardon me for stereotyping - is exactly the opposite of what I'd expect from an anonymous, "the-left-are-all-haters"-style DLC backer.

Let me lay it out for you: the DLC does not share my values, they do not think the way I think, and their strategic methods have established the worst elements of our society in positions of authority. They have served to establish conservatism as the natural governing ideology of America, and I carry deep reservations about any candidate that would associate themselves with the crippling failure they've represented for Democrats and the progressive movement.