The Many Sides of Chris Dodd

Lt. Gov Fedele/Sen. Dodd

Republicans from across the Nutmeg State flocked to Stamford last night for the 31st Annual Prescott Bush Dinner, the party’s yearly gala fundraiser and awards dinner.  The room of nearly 800 elected officials, candidates, party regulars, and guests gathered to honor Lt. Governor Mike Fedele with the Party’s highest honor, the Prescott Bush Award.

In his moving speech, Lt. Gov Fedele spoke warmly about his immigrant parents and the values they instilled in him.  At the most emotional section of his acceptance address, Fedele choked up as he recalled his father’s sage advice: “All you have in life is your name and your handshake”.

The dinner’s featured guest, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, seemed particularly taken by the Lt. Governor’s comments, repeatedly referencing them in his keynote remarks.  In his most pointed barb at our senior Senator, the leader of the Republican Revolution offered the view that “perhaps Chris Dodd would have benefited from meeting the Lt. Governor’s father”.

Dodd, of course, has  his own filial devotions.  Next week’s  Newsweek edition includes a piece about Senator Dodd’s recent tribulations entitled “Like Father, Like Son“, which describes the many sides of a son’s life spent in search of absolution for a father’s misdeeds and, now, in defense of his own misdeeds.

That defense, aimed at avoiding the same pyre that ended his father’s career, is cast as that of a man who cares too much:

He has sat for hours by the beds of friends dying of cancer, and he regularly called former Connecticut governor John Rowland when he was in prison for corruption.

Blandly dismissing the Irish cottage scandal, breezing past the Countrywide scandal, and paying fair homage to Dodd’s task – having “to go kiss the ass of this Democratic chairman in this tiny town” as one Dodd confidant described it – the article seemed determined to cast Dodd as the picture of a man compelled by good intentions and defined by misfortune.

It is hard to miss that this hand wringing comes amid a Dodd public relations offensive, marked first by a $100,000 television ad buy more than 18 months prior to Election Day 2010 and a curiously coincidental TV ad from PhRMA worshipping Dodd, more “Dodd in action” news from the Senate Banking Committee, and a NY Times’ feature that lauds Mr. Dodd’s push on health care.

Amid all this activity, you could be forgiven for not noticing that Countrywide Financial’s disgraced CEO Angelo Mozilo, the architect of the eponymous “Friends of Angelo” program that passed out sweetheart mortgage deals to bigwigs like Sen. Chris Dodd, was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.

The final judgement on whether Dodd still has his integrity will be cast by Connecticut’s electorate a year and a half from now.  In no small part, it will likely be made on the same standard that the Lt. Governor’s father gave to his son: a name and a handshake.

Advertisements

29 responses to “The Many Sides of Chris Dodd

  1. George Colli

    I’m not sure that being on the opposite side of Newt Gingrich (or Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove for that matter) is a negative for Sen. Dodd here in CT. What I’m waiting to hear from GOP Senate candidates or their supporters is what they will do for the residents of this state if they replace Dodd. Sen. Dodd is the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee at a very important time in our countries history. The reforms that come out of this role will impact people on a global scale. What possibly can Sam Caliguri, Rob Simmons or Tom Foley promise to do for the state as minority freshman Senators compared to what Sen. Dodd can do with his tenure and stature working with the current administration.?

  2. What possibly can Sam Caliguri, Rob Simmons or Tom Foley promise to do for the state as minority freshman Senators compared to what Sen. Dodd

    They could bring some integrity.

  3. The dinner’s featured guest, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, seemed particularly taken by the Lt. Governor’s comments, repeatedly referencing them in his keynote remarks.  In his most pointed barb at our senior Senator, the leader of the Republican Revolution offered the view that “perhaps Chris Dodd would have benefited from meeting the Lt. Governor’s father”.

    Yes let’s all take Newt Gingrich’s advice on ethics seriously.

    I liked this post better the first twenty times I read it, as Kevin Rennie’s repeatedly non-newsbreaking columns.

  4. George Colli

    I’m not a Newt Gingrich hater. He paid for his hypocrisy from a decade ago and has managed to make himself relevant again within his party. However, it’s difficult for me to hear you critisize Sen. Dodd’s integrity while at the same time trumpeting the fact Gingrich was your keynote speaker.

  5. ….. critisize Sen. Dodd’s integrity while at the same time trumpeting the fact Gingrich was your keynote speaker.

    Newt’s a good speaker – he offered us big box-office appeal at no charge.

    How does that have any effect on the ethical bankruptcy of Chris Dodd?

    He’s clearly a chip off the old block – his dad would be proud.

  6. George Colli

    Still waiting to hear what any GOP candidate will do as our U.S. Senator… The only answer the State Chair had was to obstruct the President. Seeing how the credit card reform bill received 95 votes in the Senate, it appears Sen. Dodd has an ability to work pretty well with both sides of the aisle. How does an agenda of only obstructing the administration get anything done for CT and how does it ever receive bi-partisan support? I realize its hard to get critisized when you don’t put your ever put your neck out. It’s also hard to consider yourself a leader. So, once again, what type of leadership will we get by electing any of the GOP candidates? How will rubber stamping a no-vote bring any jobs to the state, help any businesses in the state, or solve any health concerns in the state?

  7. Mr. Reality

    Is that all you Democrats do when talking about politics is relate someone to another person? Nancy Pelosi has worse public opinion numbers than Dick Cheney..has anyone seen her talk she’s an embarassment!!! Funny how all that CIA talk is going away too. Hmm. I wonder why?

    How does mentioning Rove, Bush, Cheney and Limabugh bring jobs to CT? Dodd’s being asleep at the wheel of the Senate Banking Committee cost Connecticut dearly. Taking donations from the Banking industry I’m sure helped with increased regulation as well. If you don’t like the Republican I understand that, but to defend what Dodd did is just ridiculous. Connecticut has plenty of Dems that could easily win that seat. To not primary him indicates that you all have no problem with what he did. He oversaw the one of the biggest financial collapses in US history!!!

    I am an ethics guy…if this were a Republican he would have paid dearly and my bet is George that if the roles were reversed you’d be saying something about his ethics too.

  8. I am an ethics guy…if this were a Republican he would have paid dearly and my bet is George that if the roles were reversed you’d be saying something about his ethics too.

    One can only imagine what sort of Connecticut citizen isn’t embarrassed by Dodd.

  9. I’m not a Newt Gingrich hater. He paid for his hypocrisy from a decade ago and has managed to make himself relevant again within his party. However, it’s difficult for me to hear you critisize Sen. Dodd’s integrity while at the same time trumpeting the fact Gingrich was your keynote speaker.

    George, if you are comparing Newt’s marriage issues compared to Dodd’s screwing over the taxpayers of Connecicut and corruption…go ahead.

  10. George Colli

    “He’s clearly a chip off the old block – his dad would be proud. ”

    Only Dems relate to another person? Did you miss the above comment from ACR ?

    “I’m not sure that being on the opposite side of Newt Gingrich (or Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove for that matter) is a negative for Sen. Dodd here in CT.”

    I was simply commenting that I don’t believe it’s a negative for Sen. Dodd in CT is that he is being critisized by Gingrich, Rush, Rove or Cheney. I think a lot can be said about a person by the enemies he keeps. If you believe the GOP talk machine represents the hearts and minds of the people in CT than fine. I happen to disagree.

    What does a recent poll concerning Pelosi and Cheney have to do with anything I said?

    Sen. Dodd is trying to fix a system that was pillaged by the Bush administration and Republican controlled Senate and House. The eventual collapse and the problems we need to fix were there from before the Dems and Dodd took over in 2006.

    So I ask again, what is even one thing that any of the three GOP candidates will do to aide CT?

  11. George, if you are comparing Newt’s marriage issues compared to Dodd’s screwing over the taxpayers of Connecicut and corruption…go ahead.

    I think Newt’s ethics issues are more relevant here. Are we having a mass case of selective amnesia?

  12. Just to return to the real point here:

    Amid all this activity, you could be forgiven for not noticing that Countrywide Financial’s disgraced CEO Angelo Mozilo, the architect of the eponymous “Friends of Angelo” program that passed out sweetheart mortgage deals to bigwigs like Sen. Chris Dodd, was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.

  13. George Colli

    What has Sen. Dodd done that has proven to be corrupt or illegal? His biggest fault was not giving credence to campaign fodder quickly enough.

    He has released the mortgage documents and they were proven to show he got no sweetheart deal. If he had decided to get a mortgage from an in-state bank- he would have been critisized for that even more.

    People have attempted to make the Irish cottage into a scandal for the past ten years and never gotten past first base.

    He took one on the chin for the administration in March and I think even he would say it was a lesson learned.

    The attacks against the Senator are the definition of truthiness. Coupled together they all sound good, but the truth is in the facts, and they have proven time and again that he has done nothing illegal.

    Keep attacking the man for the next 17 months on these non-issues. He will keep working to get us out of this mess. And when all is said and done, Chris Dodd will return to the Senate. He has been the right man for the job in the past, he is the right man for CT and the country in the present and he will be the right man for the job in the future.

    I hope all of you have a great weekend!

  14. What has Sen. Dodd done that has proven to be corrupt or illegal? His biggest fault was not giving credence to campaign fodder quickly enough.

    The wheels of justice turn slowly. Mr. Dodd remains under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee, and by the Department of Justice if one believes Robert Feinberg, the Countrywide employee in charge of the VIP program.

    He has released the mortgage documents and they were proven to show he got no sweetheart deal. If he had decided to get a mortgage from an in-state bank- he would have been critisized for that even more.

    His document “release” was really a “peep show” at which reporters were unable to take notes, reproduce the documents in any way, or request additional documents. Rob Simmons, for example and in contrast, readily tossed his mortgage documents to a bemused-looking Dennis House months ago.

    People have attempted to make the Irish cottage into a scandal for the past ten years and never gotten past first base.

    The Newsweek article is dismissive, but in it Sen. Dodd concedes that the value of the cottage reported on the Senate financial disclosure form is inaccurate. That he “shepherded” one of his co-owner’s pardon requests through the Clinton White House isn’t illegal but certainly raises bigger questions about the man’s judgement.

  15. Just to return to the real point here:

    What’s really interesting to me is that in a post that is allegedly about the State’s GOP dinner there is nothing about the ideas that are going to help bring the GOP back in favor with the electorate. Is that because there aren’t any, other than attack Dodd? Just curious.

  16. What’s really interesting to me is that in a post that is allegedly about the State’s GOP dinner there is nothing about the ideas that are going to help bring the GOP back in favor with the electorate. Is that because there aren’t any, other than attack Dodd? Just curious.

    A pathetically weak ‘observation.’

    Perhaps others can pick apart a Dem-oriented post in the same way…. if they want to grasp for straws.

  17. What’s really interesting to me is that in a post that is allegedly about the State’s GOP dinner there is nothing about the ideas that are going to help bring the GOP back in favor with the electorate. Is that because there aren’t any, other than attack Dodd? Just curious.

    No disrespect intended but, Republicans spent 8 years of relentless attacks on Bush so save the “attack Dodd” comments” for people who don’t know any better.

  18. Just to return to the real point here:

    Amid all this activity, you could be forgiven for not noticing that Countrywide Financial’s disgraced CEO Angelo Mozilo, the architect of the eponymous “Friends of Angelo” program that passed out sweetheart mortgage deals to bigwigs like Sen. Chris Dodd, was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.

    Right, there’s a huge left-wing media conspiracy to stifle negative news stories about Chris Dodd. That would explain the incredibly positive press he’s been getting everywhere over the past six months, like the 149,000 Google hits for Dodd + Countrywide.

    If the only “real point” you were attempting to make in this asinine post came in the 9th paragraph out of 10, you buried your lede badly. Hope next week’s gratuitous string of rambling outdated attacks on Dodd is a little sharper.

  19. What’s really interesting to me is that in a post that is allegedly about the State’s GOP dinner there is nothing about the ideas that are going to help bring the GOP back in favor with the electorate. Is that because there aren’t any, other than attack Dodd? Just curious.

    I don’t know of anyone who alleged that the post was about the State GOP’s dinner. It is titled “The Many Sides of Chris Dodd”, suggesting it would be about our senior Senator. I mentioned the dinner as context for the point about the virtue of integrity as a father’s gift to his son.

    Senator Dodd’s inheritance from HIS father, in contrast and as pointed out by Newsweek, has been a U.S. Senate seat and the baggage that came with it.

  20. I have no idea if the GOP candidates will address this issue, but… on May 6, the Banking Chairman, Chris Dodd, promised Jane Hamsher that he would “ask” Bernanke for the names of Dodd’s campaign contributors… er… uhhh… the names of the banks that received $2.2 trillion (Bbg reports that “guarantees” at another $8 trillion).

    Has Dodd asked yet?

    I haven’t heard anything.

    If he asked and didn’t get an answer, has he used his power of subpoena yet?

    Oh wait… maybe he doesn’t want everyone to know that the banks that got the money are his top campaign contributors? No. I’m sure that’s irrelevant.

    Again… I don’t know if the GOP candidates will be supporting transparency and good government. But it’s crystal clear to anyone else that Senator Dodd opposes transparency and opposes good government… when it comes to the $10 trillion Fed bailout that went to his campaign contributors… but not a penny to anyone else.

  21. To all the Dems who continue defending Dodd on all these ideological issues… will you defend him on his vote (April 2) to oppose transparency and to oppose good government?

    Whenever I take sides with Jane Hamsher I this issue, I hear nothing by crickets from the left.

    Dodd needs to go… along with all the other Corporatists / members of The Political Class… regardless of whether they are D or R.

  22. No disrespect intended but, Republicans spent 8 years of relentless attacks on Bush so save the “attack Dodd” comments” for people who don’t know any better.

    We’re trying our best not to act like Democrats.

    Andy Levy of The Red-Eye Report (Fox News) suggests we Republicans not act like the Kool Aid drinkers to our left.

    IE:

    DON’T question the motives – question the policy. When you disagree with Obama’s policies, say so, and make it clear why. But remember that President Obama is doing what he thinks is best for the country, as President Bush did. Both men love America and want what’s best for her. End of story.

    DON’T make it personal. We don’t need another Derangement Syndrome. We don’t need people doing things like emphasizing Obama’s middle name in a derogatory fashion. How anyone would think that’s beneficial to their cause, or to the country as a whole, is beyond me. Also, it’s not even clever. Neither are smushwords like BusHitler, or sillywords like Rethuglicans and Dhimmicrats.

    DON’T say or do everything in your power to drive this country apart and then claim you want unity when it’s your guy in power. This is like the convicted felon who conveniently finds God when he’s up for parole.

  23. We’re trying our best not to act like Democrats.

    ACR, I agree and believe that we should attack issues when we oppose them and not attack personally. My point was, Democrats have no room to talk about “attacks” after how they behaved during the Bush years.

  24. My point was, Democrats have no room to talk about “attacks” after how they behaved during the Bush years.

    I followed what you meant and felt it could use some expounding, that’s all.

  25. AndersonScooper

    I liked when George Bush taped that skit for the White House correspondents’ dinner, where he went around the Oval Office searching for those “weapons of mass destruction”. Hee hee hee.

    What’s incredible is that almost to a man, you ‘wingers remained loyal to a President who will go down in history as the worst to ever get re-elected to a 2nd term.

  26. AndersonScooper

    The GOP agenda?

    STOP OBAMA!
    JUST SAY NO!

    There is no desire for bipartisan compromise to move the country forward. Nope, it’s all about doing whatever it takes in order for the filthy rich to get even filthier…

  27. What’s incredible is that almost to a man, you ‘wingers remained loyal to a President who will go down in history as the worst to ever get re-elected to a 2nd term.

    Are you assuming Obama won’t get a second term?

  28. Are you assuming Obama won’t get a second term?

    Apparently.

    However, Obama’s on track to replace Jimmy Carter as the worst president since Andrew (Genocide? Not a problem!) Jackson.

  29. For all of Dodd’s apologists… please explain why Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) has to ask questions of Bernanke…

    while Dodd continues to oppose transparency and oppose good government…

    Dodd, like Lieberman, has been there far too long.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s