Dodd’s Legacy

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Here’s a story from me today about Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and his push to get financial regulatory reform done. Dodd’s taken a pretty unique approach to this bill from the get-go, assigning bipartisan teams to hammer out deals on the most senstivie topics; working with Banking Committee ranking Republican and then Tennessee’s Bob Corker, in the hopes of getting a bipartisan deal. Looking back, Dodd’s a little wistful that he’s leaving the Senate in this political climate. Here’s his response when I asked him how he’d like to be remembered on this bill:

That I did a good job given the tools that we had and the resources and the political climate that I’m operating in. I’ve been here for 30 years and you know the Senate is in a rough patch right now. It’s been there before, this isn’t the first time, and I presume that at some point that we’ll come out of this. But we’ve been affected far more by the politics of the institution than the substance or quality of the work here so that’s been hard.

It’s a familiar lament: one that both Evan Bayh and Byron Dorgan cited when they announced their retirements. Unfortunately, very few of the next generation seem to be inclined to post-partisan deal making.