One of the most consequential decisions a presidential candidate has to make is that of running mate. It speaks volumes about judgment, and is even more important than the running mate him/herself. What does that say about Barack Obama’s decision to take a close look at Friend of Angelo Chris Dodd?
The former White House hopeful and Connecticut lawmaker indicated Wednesday that he has been approached by the campaign. “There’s been some inquiries, yeah,” Dodd said. “They ask for a lot of stuff. I’ll leave it there.”
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton and Dodd’s Senate office declined comment Thursday.
I’ll bet they did, although it’s pretty easy to see the reasoning here. Dodd championed the effort against the FISA reform bill that passed with Obama’s vote this week, and got signed into law by President Bush yesterday. Obama has been trashed by the Left all week long, and he needs to find a way to get back into their good graces — and their pocketbooks. What better way than to signal that Dodd might get added to the ticket?
Maybe he would have been better off asking Russ Feingold instead. Dodd’s activities sharply contrast with Obama’s supposed commitment to reform and change. Let’s review Dodd’s involvement with Countrywide Mortgage while acting as chair of the Senate Banking Committee, shall we?
Two U.S. senators, two former Cabinet members, and a former ambassador to the United Nations received loans from Countrywide Financial through a little-known program that waived points, lender fees, and company borrowing rules for prominent people.
Senators Christopher Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut and chairman of the Banking Committee, and Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, refinanced properties through Countrywide’s “V.I.P.” program in 2003 and 2004, according to company documents and emails and a former employee familiar with the loans.
The Friends of Angelo [Mozilo, Countrywide’s CEO] program saved Dodd $58,000 in interest on his mortgage and all points and fees on the loan. This came while Dodd sat the committee that regulated the industry, and later chaired it. It’s the kind of who-you-know backscratching that Obama supposedly wants to end in Washington DC, and now he wants to consider making Dodd his VP? So much for “change you can believe in”!
And let’s not forget that Obama dumped his VP vetter Jim Johnson for the similar kinds of personal-enrichment exercises through friendly loans. Does that mean that Obama wants to toss his bus-tossing under the bus?
I doubt we’ll get this lucky. Dodd may help Obama kiss and make up with the hard Left, but he’s far too easy a target for the Republicans for Obama to take on his baggage in a general election. The mere fact of his consideration is gift enough.