Dodd Retiring TooJanuary 5, 2010 - by Donny Shaw
Chris Cillizza broke the news:
Embattled Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D) has scheduled a press conference at his home in Connecticut Wednesday at which he is expected to announce he will not seek re-election, according to sources familiar with his plans. […]
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is widely expected to step into the void filled by Dodd and, at least at first blush, should drastically increase Democrats’ chances of holding the seat.
Blumenthal, who has served as state Attorney General since 1990, is the most popular politician in the state and has long coveted a Senate seat; he had already signaled that he would run for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) in 2012. (A sidenote: Assuming Blumenthal gets in to the race, Rep. Chris Murphy could be the long-term beneficiary as he is widely regarded as a rising star and would be at the top of the list of Democratic hopefuls to challenge Lieberman in 2012.)
So, unlike the Dorgan announcement, Dodd’s retirement is actually a good thing for the Democrats headed into 2010.
In the past year or so, Dodd, who is the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has been a target for a lot of the outrage surrounding the Wall Street bailouts and, specifically, for his role in drafting legislation that allowed the post-bailout bonuses to be paid out to executives at A.I.G. Dodd has also been tied up for the past year or so in the still-developing Countrywide loan scandal in which Dodd was given an extra generous mortgage deal presumably because of his powerful position over policies that affect Countrywide. These scandals had been threatening to turn Dodd’s once solid CT Class III Senate seat into a toss-up, or even a Republican pick-up, for the first time in decades.