Pros and Cons: Chris Dodd as Obama’s Running Mate

ImageIf Obama is looking to add experience to his ticket than he might not do any better than to look in the direction of the subject of this edition of Pros and Cons, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT).

Resume: Chris Dodd began his political career when he was elected to the House of Representatives as part of the post-Watergate “Class of 1974.” Dodd served in the House from 1975-1981. He was first elected to the Senate in 1980, and has been reelected four times. In the Senate, he is known for his work on family and children’s issues. He authored the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and worked for eight years to get it passed.

Dodd has been a long time advocate for the Head Start program and after 9/11 he authored the legislation that provided funds for local communities to hire, train, and equip first responders. He is currently the chairman of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. He also sits on the Relations Committee, and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

Dodd ran for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, and endorsed Barack Obama when he dropped out. In paperwork filed with the FEC last year, Dodd announced that he will not be a candidate for his Senate seat when his current term ends in 2010.

Pros to picking Dodd : Chris Dodd would bring age and experience to the Democratic ticket. He is an accomplished senator whose policy positions, especially on the domestic side, are good match for Obama. Adding the 64 year old Dodd, might help reassure older voters who are concerned about Obama’s age and inexperience. Dodd is a prototypical VP candidate in that he is not going to outshine or upstage Obama. He would play the attack dog role that many running mates fill during the fall campaign well.

Cons to picking Dodd : Dodd is cut from much of the same liberal Northeasterner cloth as 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry. Choosing Dodd would help the Republican define Obama as just another elitist liberal. Dodd probably would hurt the ticket in the South, and it likely that Obama will win the entire Northeast without Dodd, except possibly New Hampshire. Dodd has been heavily criticized for his strong advocacy of the accounting industry, and his 2008 presidential campaign was bankrolled by the financial services industries that his committees regulate.

Odd of Obama selecting Dodd : Dodd is available, but has said that he is not interested in the job. He would bring experience to the ticket, but it won’t be the kind that would be helpful to Obama. Chris Dodd is the domestic policy version of Joe Biden. I think it is much more likely that if Obama wins the election, Dodd will leave the Senate early to accept a cabinet position in an Obama administration.

The Choice-O-Meter says:

O (1 O for Chris Dodd)

1 O = No Chance – 10 Os = A Sure Thing

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