Margaret Carlson Embarrasses Herself
With this fawning profile of Christopher Dodd
Of the 11 people considering a presidential bid in 2008, Dodd has one great advantage: He doesn't have to position -- or reposition himself -- each morning.While many in his party are straining to color themselves red, wishing to be reborn in a border state, Dodd's a traditional Democrat from way north of the Mason-Dixon line and happy about it. ``I'm a Sam Rayburn Democrat -- without prefix, suffix, or apology,'' Dodd said, recalling that former Senator Dale Bumpers forgave him for being a ``a northerner because he had a southern sense of humor.''
In the end, geography is insignificant, Dodd says, if you can ``connect with people, convince them you can do something about their problems because the job you've done prepares you for the one you're seeking.''
Like JFK, Bill
Affable and Irish, Dodd comes closest of anyone in the field to the raw political talent of a JFK or Bill Clinton. Dodd, who turns 62 tomorrow, looks like a white-haired lion out of ``Advise and Consent,'' not a Ken doll of a hundred focus groups.
The reason a lot of Democrats wish they were Southerners, is because no Northern Democrat has won the White House since JFK. You can blab about connecting with people all you want; only Southern Democrats have pulled it off.Even if she doesn't, my bet is on Dodd to claim the un- Hillary spot. His entry puts the most spontaneous of politicians next to the least, and Dodd is one of the few who can still belt out an optimistic and energizing stump speech. He has the greatest advantage you can have in politics: He's a natural who doesn't need handlers to position him. He would never try to appeal to conservatives by introducing a bill that would make flag-burning illegal, as Senator Clinton has done.
Actually, Russ Feingold or Al Gore strikes me as most likely to take the un-Hillary slot, and Dodd seems quite likely to be gone before Iowa.