A tale of two Connecticut senators
I don't want to go too far with the idea that Chris Dodd bowed out of the race to preserve the seat for his party. Few politicians are interested in an unwinnable election. But then, few veteran politicians really see races as unwinnable. If Dodd didn't think there was some chance he could turn things around against WWE co-founder Linda McMahon, he's not quite the optimist I imagined. His decision, however, didn't maximize his chances of holding the seat. It maximized his party's chances of holding on to the seat.
By contrast, it's worth remembering how Dodd's Connecticut colleague, Joe Lieberman, reacted in a related situation in 2000. Lieberman had been nominated to run as Al Gore's vice president. That forced him to decide whether to simultaneously run for Senate as well. If he won both, then he'd become veep, his Senate seat would go unfilled, and the Republican governor would appoint a Republican replacement. If he bowed out of the Senate race, attorney general Richard Blumenthal -- the same guy who's running to replace Dodd -- would have stepped in to replace Lieberman.
Lieberman decided to run for both simultaneously, maximizing the potential that he would have an elected position the following November, but not that the Democratic Party would hold the seat. It's odd that Dodd's behavior here is uncommon enough to warrant praise. If these guys care about the agenda they're representing, whether they or someone who votes just like them occupies the seat doesn't really matter, while handing it to someone who will vote against their agenda matters quite a lot. But then, the Senate is an odd place.
Posted by: stevie314 | January 7, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: madjoy | January 7, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: theorajones1 | January 7, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: JERiv | January 7, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: madjoy | January 7, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: redwards95 | January 7, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.