Indeed, he was the ranking Democrat on the Indian Affairs Subcommittee and led the investigation of the Abramoff bribes, never mentioning that he was one of their recipients. It would have been fun to watch him try to escape the criticism.
Dodd, at last being held to account for his role in fronting for AIG for his entire career, also faced issues related to his wife's employment by a subsidiary of AIG at the same time that Dodd was running errands for it in Congress. Dodd, of course, was the largest single recipient of AIG funds in Congress, getting more than twice as much as the next largest recipient.
The scandals that attach to Dodd and Dorgan would have injured the party and cost them angst not only in Connecticut and North Dakota but throughout the nation.
Obviously, the North Dakota seat will go Republican, probably to the North Dakota governor, John Hoeven.
But the Connecticut seat is hardly the automatic Democratic seat most pundits predict. While State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is quite popular and enjoys broad support, Connecticut voters are fed up with the Democratic agenda and opposed to the health care bill. The more all Democratic senators march in lockstep to pass legislation the people of America oppose, the more voters are willing to look past the candidates and vote based on party labels.
Rob Simmons, a former Connecticut congressman, would be a strong challenger to Blumenthal and, with the tide as pronounced as it is becoming for the GOP, who is to say that he can't pull it off?
Ditto, by the way, for anyone who challenges Kristen Gillibrand. Her record of flacking for the tobacco companies and her flip-flops on most major issues since her appointment make her very vulnerable to any GOP challenger who steps up to the plate.
When a tsunami is coming, it's very hard to predict how high the tide will go. Will it just lap over the swing states like Arkansas and Nevada? Will it go up to the lean-Democrat states and cost them seats in Delaware and Colorado? Or will it surge so far that it takes away Democratic Senate seats in solid Democratic states without elected incumbents like New York with Gillibrand, Illinois and Connecticut? Or will it so swamp the nation that even where Democratic incumbents are running in blue states, they are not safe in states like California, Washington, Indiana, Oregon and Pennsylvania?
Our bet is that the rising tide will swamp all their boats.
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