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Aide Confirms Dodd's Interest In White House Bid

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Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democrat who has represented Connecticut in the Senate for 26 years, is tipping his toes into the presidential sweepstakes.

In comments to the Hartford Courant on May 22, Sen. Dodd said he is considering a run for the presidency in 2008. “This is the right time for me,” Dodd said. “This is the right thing to do.”

Dodd has been forthright in stating that he is an advocate for the insurance industry because Connecticut was a hub for the industry when he came to Washington. Amongst his latest accomplishments: He was a key player, along with former Sen. Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., in getting the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act enacted into law.

In a virtual all-night phone call with White House officials in November 2002, Sen. Dodd and his top aides bridged the gap between totally different bills passed by the House and the Senate. He was also a key player in getting the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill enacted in 1999.

A close, longtime friend and a former aide when Sen. Dodd served in the House said, “Sen. Dodd is thinking about running.” The former aide said there would be “no formal announcement for a long, long time,” because that triggers “all sorts of legal requirements.”

The former aide added, “He is in what is called the ‘pre-exploratory phase.’ He is making every decision to do everything necessary to prepare to run for the presidency.”

The aide explained that “should he make that final decision, he will be very well prepared to make that decision. It is not an exercise in ego and hubris.”

According to The Washington Post, at the end of March, Dodd had $2 million in his Senate campaign account. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has $20 million in campaign contributions stored away, according to the newspaper account.

Other current potential candidates include Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis.

The aide said that Sen. Dodd has organized a national fund-raising base “and has extensive national experience in a previous role as former chairman of the Democratic National Committee under President Clinton.”

The former aide said one reason Sen. Dodd thinks “it is now time” is that 2008 marks the first time since 1952 that a sitting president or vice president isn’t a candidate for the top post.


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