In his column, “Dodd should step aside” (Sept. 4), Matthew Ellison asked us to trust in arbitrary percentages concocted by the “completely intuitive political judgment” of a twenty-year-old as we decide whether to support Sen. Chris Dodd in 2010. I’d rather look at the facts.
The fact is that Sen. Dodd is one of the greatest public servants of our time. In his decades of service to our state and nation, the senator has proven time and time again his ability to lead the charge for progressive change. From authoring the Family and Medical Leave Act, to increasing funds for our nation’s firefighters, to safeguarding children’s health, Chris Dodd has proven himself worthy of his office.
Ellison writes that he “want[s] the senator we elect to promote Barack Obama’s agenda.” Senator Dodd, an early supporter of the Obama campaign, is doing just that. Already this year, the senator has authored four vital pieces of legislation—housing and foreclosure mitigation, Credit CARD, tobacco regulation, and national service expansion—all signed into law by the president. Obama himself has praised Senator Dodd for his “exceptional service.”
With fifteen months left until the 2010 election, Ellison’s gloomy poll-number picture hardly holds water. President Obama rebounded from a thirty-plus point deficit in primary polls in less than half that time. In politics, such reversals happen all the time. Furthermore, during his 29 years as Connecticut’s senator, Dodd has developed a dedicated staff and volunteer base and a loyal following throughout the state. These thousands of supporters make for a strong campaign organization unmatchable by any other Democratic candidate.
Ellison believes that “as long as the Democrat we elect is intelligent and capable,” it could be anyone. He is wrong. There are plenty of “intelligent and capable” Democrats living across this state, but those qualities alone do not qualify anyone for a place in the Senate.
We need someone with a history of bringing jobs and resources back home. We need someone with a lifetime of public service. We need someone who has demonstrated his ability to lead our Party. We need Chris Dodd.
The writer, a junior in Pierson College, is the president of the College Democrats of Connecticut and the president of Connecticut Students for Dodd.