By The Hill Editors - 05/18/10 10:27 AM EDT
Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is nearing the end of his political career, but not
before he will help pass another landmark piece of legislation.
111th Congress has been very challenging for the Banking Committee
chairman. He lost his sister last July, and a month later his good
friend, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), died.
battled cancer last year and said at his retirement announcement in
January that “in the midst of all this, I found myself in the toughest
political shape of my career.”
With the political winds
blowing against incumbents, Dodd would have been an underdog to retain
his seat this November.
It would have been very easy to
portray Dodd as a Washington insider, having been elected to Congress in
1974. On top of that, Dodd helped craft the 2008 bailout bill.
being an insider has its advantages.
As a veteran of
Washington politics, Dodd helped revive both the healthcare reform bill
and the financial regulatory measure back to life. He knew when to reach
out to Republicans, and when to battle them.
Dodd reveres the
Senate, and he has lashed out at members who have made the upper
chamber more vitriolic. During a floor speech late last year, Dodd
criticized the Senate’s “newest members” for their behavior.
an interview with The Hill, Dodd said his effort to pass financial
regulatory reform is more than just cleaning up Wall Street.
wanted to demonstrate and prove, if to no one else but myself, that
this Senate is not on some trajectory downward that’s irreversible,”
“We all know when to get into this
business, or you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t,” Dodd said. “I think
very few know when to get out.”
The Congress will have a lot more “outsiders” next year, but it will be extremely difficult to fill the void of Dodd, a legislator’s legislator.