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Democrats in Sen. Chris Dodd’s home state are pissed over his role in the controversial bonuses paid to fat cats at American International Group (AIG). Democrats elsewhere are pretty damned mad too.
And Democratic leaders wonder if it’s time to replace Dodd with someone who might have a chance of holding on to his Senate seat.
They believe Dodd is done. Time to dump the veteran Senator.
Interviews with a dozen Democratic state legislators, party officials and operatives in Connecticut indicate there is deep concern back home over whether the incendiary American International Group bonuses issue has delivered a mortal blow to Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), the five-term senator already facing tough scrutiny over his role as Senate Banking Committee chairman and his personal financial dealings.
Many of them describe a palpable fury among the party rank and file — anger that’s led some to wonder if the party would be better served with a different Democratic nominee in 2010— though they note that, at the moment, Dodd still retains the loyalty of Democratic activists and the political class.
“There are a lot of Democrats on principle who are saying, ‘Enough is enough — I’m voting for someone else.’ They’re voting for change,” said Nick Paindiris, a Democratic Party committeeman. “It’s the registered Democrats out there who are not party officials who are very upset. Ordinarily they would vote Democrat, but this is a time where they won’t. And I’m hearing a lot of that.”
Paindiris notes that among less partisan Democrats in his suburban Hartford community, Dodd’s admission that he played a role, at the urging of the Treasury Department, in agreeing to the provision that allowed AIG executives to receive millions in bonuses continues to reverberate, leading to speculation about whether another Democrat might have a better chance of holding the seat.