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Dodd, Dorgan retiring

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by basso, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    odd that so many Democrats are now choosing not to seek reelection. what has changed in the past 12 months?

    [rquoter]Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd won't seek reelection, will retire at end of term
    By Chris Cillizza
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010; A01

    Embattled Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday at which he is expected to announce he will not seek reelection, sources familiar with his plans said Tuesday night.

    Word of Dodd's retirement plans comes after months of speculation about his political future, his faltering poll numbers and a growing sense among the Democratic establishment that he could not win a sixth term in the Senate. The news also came on the same day Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced he would not seek reelection.

    Once among the safest of incumbents, Dodd's political star fell over a two-year period, during which he moved his family to Iowa to pursue the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and was linked to a VIP mortgage loan program overseen by a controversial Wall Street financier. He also drew harsh questions about his oversight of Wall Street, as chair of the Senate Banking Committee, in the years when the nation's financial system was heading toward near collapse.

    Dodd's poll numbers plummeted last spring before rebounding somewhat over the summer. But another dive in the polls late last year led to widespread concern that Dodd needed to vacate the seat for Democrats to have a chance at retaining it in the 2010 elections.

    Dodd's troubles were politically ironic, coming at a time when his power on Capitol Hill had reached a height that most legislators only dream of. In addition to the banking committee, he also held pivotal posts on the health and foreign relations committees.

    Over the past 18 months, he has been the primary author or co-author of legislation rewriting housing mortgage rules; the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street; key portions of the $787 billion stimulus package; a consumer protection bill overseeing the credit card industry; and the nearly $900 billion health-care legislation that has passed the Senate and is in final negotiations with the House now.

    With each major piece of legislation Dodd ushered into law, the senator also endured criticism that he did not anticipate. The mortgage bill came in mid-2008, which some said was delayed because of Dodd's presidential aspirations, and the financial bailout became one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation passed in recent memory. His work on the stimulus bill, approved last February, was an attempt to rein in executive compensation at firms that had been bailed out but instead led to sharp criticism when executives at AIG, the largest recipient of taxpayer dollars, still received seven-figure bonuses shortly thereafter.

    Without Dodd on the ballot, Republicans' chances of taking over a seat in solid-blue Connecticut are considerably diminished.

    Richard Blumenthal (D), who has served as state attorney general since 1990, is widely expected to declare his candidacy for the seat. The most popular politician in the state, Blumenthal has long coveted a Senate seat, and he had already signaled that he would run for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I) in 2012.

    Former Rep. Rob Simmons and businesswoman Linda McMahon are battling for the Republican nomination, but either would start as an underdog in a general-election match-up with Blumenthal.

    Dodd, 65, was elected to the Senate in 1980, after three terms in the House, following the path blazed by his father, Thomas. By the early 1990s, Chris Dodd had set his sights on Senate leadership.

    He ran for Democratic leader in the wake of the 1994 elections, but he lost in a close race to Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.). President Bill Clinton selected Dodd to chair the Democratic National Committee, overseeing Clinton's reelection as president in 1996, but the DNC's fundraising practices during the 1996 campaign landed him in some political hot water.

    After Daschle was voted out of office in 2004, Dodd considered jumping into the race to succeed him, but he quickly stepped aside when he realized Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) had overwhelming support to claim the post.

    Instead, Dodd began laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign in 2008. Always a long shot in a field filled with better-known and better-financed candidates, he moved his family to Iowa in fall 2007 in hopes of generating some excitement for his bid. But the move backfired in Connecticut, where voters bristled.

    The next year, it was reported that Dodd had received special treatment in his acquisition of a mortgage loan from Countrywide Financial, through a program that labeled him and others as friends of Countrywide chief executive Angelo Mozilo. Dodd insisted he was unaware of his inclusion in the program, and he was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Senate Ethics Committee, but the political damage was done.[/rquoter]
     
  2. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    Sometimes you just have to do what's best for the party. As the article says, Dodd not running for reelection makes it HARDER for the republicans to win the seat.
     
  3. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    I was going to come up with some snarky answer like the Stock Market has turned around or the economy will start to actually gain jobs starting with Friday's unemployment report but I will answer seriously.

    I know this is just a question to bait people but here goes anyway. If you actually read the article you posted, Dodd's problems are personal and don't represent a wider problem that yes, a lot of democrats are facing in 2010. As the article states, Dodd will likely be replaced by a Democrat.

    Other House Democrats who won elections in conservative districts, their constituents are not happy with Obama's policies. I find this ironic because its the same people who claimed the more ardent supporters of Obama were expecting some miraculous changes, and they are the conservatives who voted for Obama are actually the ones who are disappointed he didn't turn the world around in 12 months.

    That's cool their support is shaky, plus this is where Republicans always have the advantage, the people who turned out in record numbers in 08 will not be voting in these elections. However if I were Republicans I wouldn't be counting my chickens just yet, I think once Health Care reform passes, people will learn of what's really in the bill and like what they see. Also, all signs are showing that the economy is poised for some kind of turn around, and in six months who knows what the voters will be thinking.
     
  4. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    It will be sad if they just decided it is time to be paid by the corporations they were bailing out. Pretty disgusting if this happens.
     
  5. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    Dodd's already on their payroll.
     
  6. MoonDogg

    MoonDogg Member

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  7. MoonDogg

    MoonDogg Member

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  8. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    I like your rosey outlook on the situation. The reality is that Dodd's poll numbers we're trailing against all three republican candidates, upwards to 15 pts. But you're right, his problem is personal ... he doesn't want to get his ass handed to him.

    I think this is great news. Hopefully the democrat party will implode just like the republican party did and reflect a great 10 years in party politics. Its time to ride the blind party wingers on each side.
     
  9. vlaurelio

    vlaurelio Contributing Member

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    same thing which caused DS mom to quit
     
  10. Depressio

    Depressio Contributing Member

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    What changed? Here, let me quote the article for you since you missed it the first time apparently:

     
  11. Major

    Major Member

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    So many Democrats? :confused: You now have 2 retiring Dems (out of 60) compared to 5 or 6 retiring Republicans (out of 40).
     
  12. MojoMan

    MojoMan Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. vlaurelio

    vlaurelio Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. MojoMan

    MojoMan Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Dodd isn't surprising considering all of the negatives against him. I'm not sure what Dorgan's fortunes where but as other posters have noted this was going to be a tough time for Democrats to run in Red States.

    FYI I just heard on the news that the Democratic governor of CO has said he won't run again.

    At the moment I wouldn't read too much into this. Its likely that the 60 vote majority in the Senate won't be maintained but having a 60 vote caucus is a pretty rare thing anyway. At the moment its still an uphill battle for the Republicans to take back one or both houses and a lot could change between now and then election.
     
  16. Ron from the G

    Ron from the G Contributing Member

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  17. uolj

    uolj Member

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    I think the "problem" pgabriel was referring to was the fact that he was so far behind in the polls. He was saying that Dodd was likely to lose but it was primarily because of stuff that was specific to him, not a general indication of the state of the Democratic party.

    By the way, I generally like Nate Silver's analysis of these types of things. From his post on the Dodd retirement:[rquoter]It would be too convenient to suggest that Democrats are better off than they were 24 hours ago -- although it's somewhat close. I had thought that Democrats had a 50-60 percent chance of losing the Connecticut seat; I would now put those odds at more like 20-30 percent, pending further developments (EDIT: with Blumenthal's entry, probably more like 10-20 percent). On the other hand, while I had thought that they only had about a 20 percent chance of losing in North Dakota (much higher if John Hoeven had entered, but that was highly uncertain), those odds would now seem to be 75-80 percent or higher.[/rquoter]
    In other words, this isn't that bad of news for the democrats. There are a couple other posts over the last couple days about the Senate races in general that I'd recommend for those interested.
     
  18. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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  19. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    I wish that would happen, but the reality is that neither political parties want the likes of Schiff or Paul in office.
     

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