Chris Dodd Considering 2008 Presidential Run
It has been said that every Senator secretly harbors ambitions to be president. Apparently, Connecticut’s Chris Dodd is coming out of the closet.
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd said today he has “decided to do all the things that are necessary to prepare to seek the presidency in 2008.” The Connecticut Democrat will hire staff, raise money and travel around the country in the next few months as he tries to enlist support.
He is highly regarded among his Senate colleagues as a skilled backroom negotiator who has won passage of major legislation, notably the Family and Medical Leave Act, help for minority voters and huge budget boosts for Head Start and child care. He has been able to get liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans to back such measures, yet he’s known among Democratic insiders as an outspoken advocate for partisan causes. Dodd came within one vote of being chosen Senate leader in 1994, and weeks later he became the Democratic National Committee’s general chairman. He overcame early skepticism by many party leaders outside New England and proved to be a popular partisan speaker around the country, particularly with minority constituencies.
But a Dodd White House run would faces numerous hurdles. He lacks the name recognition of candidates such as 2004 ticket-mates John Kerry and John Edwards, former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., and others. And the $2 million Dodd has on hand for a race is dwarfed by New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s estimated $20 million and Kerry’s estimated $17 million. Dodd also will be scrutinized like never before — facing questions about thousands of votes over the years, criticism of consistently high rankings by liberal groups, skepticism about whether a New Englander should head the ticket again and likely barbs about his days in the 1980s, when he was divorced and known as a ladies’ man.
My strong guess is that, at the end of the day, Dodd will decide against a presidential bid. He has virtually no shot at the nomination and even less of winning a general election.