Dodd's Departure is Good News for Democrats

Dodd is out and Blumenthal is in. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal quickly announced he will run for the Senate after the surprise news that Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will not seek reelection.

Pundits say Dodd's departure will hurt the Democrat's chances of keeping their slim Senate majority. The reality is that Republican's will probably have a harder time running against Blumenthal.

Dodd has been tarnished by his association with bank bail-outs and Countrywide, which financed his low-rate mortgage through its VIP program. An ethics investigation cleared Dodd, but opponents have never dropped the issue.

By the way, Dodd said prospects of a tough reelection campaign didn't influence his decision. Sure.

Blumenthal, on the other hand, hasn't had vote on raising taxes or cutting services. As state attorney general, he doesn't have to take any tough stand. Instead he gets to send out press releases on how he's saving money for consumers.

Linda McMahon, former World Wrestling Entertainment chief executive running against Dodd, make that Blumenthal, told the Hartford Courant that Dodd's decision doesn't change her strategy. Sure.

Former Representative Rob Simmons, another Republican candidate, said the same.
Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, is also seeking the Republican nomination. An author and financial news commentator, Schiff, who has been attacking Dodd, will need a new target.

The real beneficiary of Dodd's decision is Joe Lieberman, who may avoid Blumenthal in his 2012 reelection bid.

The immediate question is what Dodd's decision means to financial reform. The departure of the Senate Banking Committee could derail the Senate's effort to overhaul financial regulations. Then again Dodd would be less distracted by a reelection campaign and could be more motivated to leave legacy, as they say.

His proposals have drawn opposition from both Republicans and business-friendly Democrats.

The latest bill would create a new Agency for Financial Stability that would regulate systemic risks to the economy, and provide larger financial firms deemed systemic risks tougher supervision and standards.


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