« | »

NYT: Dodd Departs Senate ‘In Triumph’

From a simply shameless New York Times:

Dodd Prepares to Depart in Triumph


May 24, 2010

WASHINGTON — As Senator Christopher J. Dodd completed what might be the capstone of his legislative career last week by shepherding a major banking overhaul through the Senate, the guest book in his office offered a glimpse of why he is not seeking re-election. It includes these recent greetings from visitors who stopped by to pay their disrespects:

“Good bye and good riddance to you,” wrote one guest on May 16. “I know it’s tough, but I expected better,” said another (April 15). “Thank you for being corrupt” (March 26).

Perhaps the Solons at the New York Times consider these encomiums, coming as they do from the ‘great unwashed.’

Mr. Dodd, 65, is often described as a prototypical creature of the Senate. He looks and sounds almost like a caricature of one — with a silvery helmet of hair, stentorian voice and back-slapping manner that make it seem like he was delivered straight from kindergarten to cloakroom. This is a bad time to project such an image.

“Almost” a caricature? What is missing?

It hardly matters that most of the guest book entries were gracious, or that you could find similar invective in correspondence to any senator, or that colleagues of both parties view Mr. Dodd fondly

Given the yin-and-yang dynamic that governs today’s political landscape, Mr. Dodd offers a basic object lesson: the more entrenched someone is in Washington, the less popular he is at home. That lesson applies to a growing number of incumbents on Capitol Hill — the latest being Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who was defeated in a Democratic primary last Tuesday. (“We came in the same day,” Mr. Dodd said with some wistfulness.)

You see, neither Mr. Dodd’s liberalism or his long history of corruption had anything to do with his being unpopular with the voters of his district. It was just this bizarre ant-incumbency movement that sprang up out of nowhere.

The Senate has become a regal nesting ground of lame ducks, some by their own choosing, some by the voters’ choosing and some by both — members who faced tough re-election prospects and are leaving on their own.

Mr. Dodd joined the latter category in January when he concluded he was in “the toughest political shape” of his career and announced he would not seek re-election. Connecticut voters had apparently soured on him after a disastrous run for president in 2008, a perception that he had grown too cozy with Wall Street and a Senate ethics inquiry into whether he had received favored treatment on a home mortgage (he was cleared of any wrongdoing).

Sure he was “cleared of any wrongdoing.”

But among departing senators, Mr. Dodd finds himself in the uncommon position of ending his run with a triumph. “A lot of people sort of go out with a whimper, and they kind of depart,” said Mr. Dodd, who shrugs off the gift of his last hurrah with a dose of Irish fatalism. (“It’s just a confluence of events over which I have literally no control.”)…

Absolutely. It’s not like Mr. Dodd has any say over how he votes, or what he says, or the sweetheart deals he gets.

Colleagues and friends hail Mr. Dodd as one of the best pure “legislators” left in the Senate.

As we recall, they used to say that about Ted Kennedy, too.

Mr. Dodd, who has orchestrated a substantial body of legislation over 30 years, is “operational.” No one has been more central to the back-to-back legislative behemoths of health care and banking overhaul than Mr. Dodd, who took over the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions last year after his best friend, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, fell ill, and then assumed the chairmanship of the Banking Committee at a time when the nation’s financial system was in crisis…

And yet, miraculously Mr. Dodd has no responsibility for the financial crisis that came about under his ‘oversight.’

He is defiant when asked if he brought his political problems upon himself.

If he erred, he said, it was that he was “naïve about the times in which we live.” He points out that there have been no Connecticut-based reporters covering the daily doings of the state’s delegation in Washington, compared with a few years ago, when there were several. They have been replaced by a “blizzard” of political bloggers, gossip columnists and cable news partisans. “It gets to a point where no one is really covering what you’re doing,” Mr. Dodd said

For which you would think he would be grateful.

Last week, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who is running for Mr. Dodd’s seat, was the subject of a report in The New York Times that he had falsely claimed military service in Vietnam.

Mr. Dodd was asked repeatedly whether he was reconsidering his decision not to run. No, he said. Nor, for the record, does he have any interest in lobbying, or becoming the president of the University of Connecticut, which has been rumored…

Before heading off to a dinner of fried oysters washed down by cold beer, Mr. Dodd went back onto the Senate floor. He slapped backs from both parties, thanked his staff and held court at his wooden Senate desk, the same one his father once used.

Well, since The Times insists on bringing him up Chris Dodd’s father, Thomas J. Dodd, is not quite the stuff of legend either.

From Wikipedia:

Thomas J. Dodd

In 1967 [Thomas J.] Dodd became… one of only six people censured by the Senate in the 20th century. The censure was a condemnation and finding that he had converted campaign funds to his personal accounts and spent the money.

Beyond the Senate Ethics Committee’s formal disciplinary action, other sources (such as investigative journalist Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson’s Congress in Crisis) suggest Dodd’s corruption was far broader in scope, and there were accusations of alcoholism…

For 1970 the Democrats endorsed for his seat Joseph Duffey, who won the nomination in the primary. Dodd then entered the race as an independent, taking just under a quarter of the vote, in a three-way race which he and Duffey lost to Lowell Weicker.

But perhaps Mr. Dodd senior went out “in triumph,” too, at least according to The Times.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “NYT: Dodd Departs Senate ‘In Triumph’”

  1. JohnMG says:

    Let the Times print what they will…….nobody with a lick of sense berlieves any thing they print anyway, and their readership shrinks daily.

    I’m just glad he’s leaving, regardless the reason. He’s always been political refuse of the worst sort.

  2. Reality Bytes says:

    That’s not all he’s leaving with. They forgot a lakefront estate in Ireland, numerous VIP loans & who knows what else.

  3. proreason says:

    Dodd, Murtha, Kilpatrick.

    The Holy Trinity of Liberalism.

    And they are pikers compared to Obamy, Pelosi and Reid.

    How did our country come to this?

    It is simply unbelievable.

    You have to laugh because not doing so is too painful.

  4. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The only way Dudd can actually be leaving “in triumph” is if that’s what he’s driving.

  5. Right of the People says:

    He should be leaving in shackles.

    • proreason says:

      Everybody knows that Dodd was 1/2 of the famous “waitress sandwich”, don’t they?

      The other half was lovable ole Teddy Kennedy.

      One night when they were falling down drunk again, they grabbed a waitress in the bar or restaurant they were stealing booze and food from and dry humped her between themselves on a table.

      The waitress was the meat in the sandwich.

      That from the “Lion of the Senate” and the man who just wrote the bill that will regulate the financial industry for the next 50 years.

      They were both over 40 years old at the time.

      Pretty funny, huh. That’s why the press has affectionately given it the light-hearted name “waitress sandwich”. Oh those cutups!! They were always doing something to alleviate the pressure of ruling us for 6 hours a day, 4 days a week, with breaks, holidays off, summer off, voting season off, and a month-long vacation in the winter at taxpayer expense.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      If only the waitress could’ve been one of the newspaper owner’s daughters.

    • JohnMG says:

      …..Everybody knows that Dodd was 1/2 of the famous “waitress sandwich”……..

      Ok, so let me guess.

      Kennedy (dead) on one side, Murtha (dead) on the other side, and Dodd in the middle.

      That sounds like a $hit sandwich to me. A “footlong”!

    • confucius says:

      more like five inches

« Front Page | To Top
« | »