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March 12, 2009

DODD VULNERABLE IN CONNECTICUT:

Sen. Chris Dodd has never been more politically vunerable than he is today, and he knows it.

A Democrat and the state’s senior senator, Dodd has been busy trying to repair his damaged image. My inbox has been flooded with announcements from his office. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs he chairs has conducted hearings of late on improving “transit systems” in the country and examining the regulatory gaps that contributed to the financial crisis. Today the senator condemned the recent violence in North Ireland. . . . The problem for Dodd is that little is likely to happen before the next election cycle that can repair the damage he has suffered. Dodd was chairman of the banking committee when banks were melting down. He downplayed the troubles at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, making him look out of touch when the federal government later had to bail out the two government-backed mortgage behemoths.

Making things look worse, Dodd was the biggest recipient of donations flowing from Fannie and Freddie employees and political actions committees, according to OpenSecrets.org . . . Then, of course, there was the “VIP” treatment Dodd received on two mortgages from Countrywide. Dodd has said that had nothing to do with his being a senator or the contributions he received from Countrywide. At the very least, Dodd should have known it was a bad idea to do business with the mortgage giant.

And there’s that whole Irish “cottage” thing.

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