Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), is fighting to save his political career, according to a Fox News article. Mired by the AIG bonus scandal which had many in the country clearly upset, and plagued by special interest ties, this 35 year veteran of Congress will face a tough battle at his next election. Dodd’s close ties with AIG (they donated over $300K to his campaign fund), has focused attention on the long term ties between members of Congress and special interests, and many believe it is hampering efforts to revive the economy.
“He literally thinks he’s going to play a critical role from saving us from ourselves,” Christopher Healy, the Republican Party chairman in Connecticut, said of the Democratic senator.
“It’s like putting the arsonist in charge of the volunteer fire department. He knows where the fire is because he set it. But beyond that, he can’t offer much help.”
Of course, Dodd is at the tip of the iceberg. According to Julian Zelizer, a congressional expert at Princeton University, most politicians have special interest entanglements, penalizing Dodd as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee would not be effective.
“You have to penalize all of Congress if you started doing this,” he said, adding that long-term reform is needed for a more efficient system.
But adding to his troubles with AIG, he requested a pardon from the Clinton administration for a former Bear Stearns director and longtime friend, Edward Downe Jr., who plead guilty to insider trading. Also, his “sweetheart deal” mortgage from Countrywide surfaced during his failed presidential bid. All this shows that Dodd in in Congress to help Dodd, not the residents of Connecticut.
“He’s a walking, talking ad for term limits,” state GOP chairman Healy told FOXNews.com. “Thirty years is a long time…. If you hang around too long in sports, theater and politics, the customers speak. They either stop coming to the theater, the ballpark or showing up on Election Day.”