According to the latest from the NY Times, former presidential wannabee and five term Democratic senator from Connecticut, Chris Dodd, is bowing out from pursuing a sixth term in his native blue state. The werewolf says good riddance. Dodd was a douche extraordinaire.
This announcement comes on the heels of another senate Democratic retirement announcement from Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. These retirements are both originating from senior Democrats, who've held their seats for some time and have strong name recognition. Coupled with Parker Griffith's recent conversion to the GOP, and the raft of recently announced Democratic house retirements, it's clear that if you're a Democrat in 2010, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
There are a variety factors at play here, especially in Dodd's case. It's incredible that Dodd was able to parade around Washington, and claim to be some sort of champion of the left, during the last few years. His recent accomplishments include crafting the legislative loophole that allowed the tax-payers to foot the controversial AIG bonuses. He was fast "Friends with Angelo Mozilo," which he used to get a favorable mortgage for that spiffy Irish cottage. That's just skimming the surface. The werewolf thinks part of the major problem was that Dodd was a careerist in the Senate, and had become a slave to incumbency. Never a good thing, regardless of party.
There is another trend that has piqued the werewolf's interest, that doesn't seem to be getting much attention. The short term legacy of the Obama effect. This time last year, the world, was a Democrat of any stripes, oyster. The drone about the end of conservatism and new ascendancy of liberalism was deafening. What a difference a year makes. What's remarkable is that the GOP, being caught in its own lameness, has very little to do with these festering Democratic wounds. They are all self-inflicted. Getting back to the point, was the price of an Obama presidency, some sort of long-term Pyrrhic victory for the Democrats? During the election, Obama was exceedingly gifted at promising to be everything to everyone? It worked. He got elected.
However, by failing to even marginally meet these raised expectations that he campaigned on, have the contrails he's left behind been toxic? It's too early to tell yet, but I get the sense that the very vehicle that propelled him to success may be hazardous to the near and medium term prospects of his party. As we all know, much can change over the next 11 months.