Sen. Chris Dodd has hired a well-known campaign manager to run his 2010 re-election bid, signaling just how seriously he takes the weakness of his own position, and the relative strength of potential Republican challengers.
Veteran Democratic campaign manager Jay Howser has signed on to run Dodd’s bid for a sixth term representing Connecticut in the Senate.
He guided Democratic challenger Brad Ellsworth to a convincing upset victory over then-Rep. John Hostettler in Indiana’s conservative 8th District in 2006 and ran Mary L. Landrieu’s successful bid for a third Senate term last year in Louisiana, a state where Barack Obama won just 40 percent of the vote as the Democratic presidential nominee.
Compare this to 2006, when Sen. Joe Lieberman, expecting little trouble, brought in a far less experienced team to run his primary campaign–only bringing in experienced staff for the general election. Dodd is well aware of the problems he’s facing, and he wants the best talent available to help him handle them.
This, if it isn’t obvious, is the clearest indication yet that Dodd has absolutely no intention of retiring.