Friday, December 29, 2006

Why Dodd?

In January, we will see a boatload of announcements of Presidential caliber. As this will be the first Presidential cycle in a long time with no incumbent President or Vice President from either party eligible to run, the field should look fascinating on both sides.

Soon, one of the potential Democratic candidates will be making an announcement. He may decided not to run for President, which will force me to reconsider and will render anything else I write in this post obsolete. But, then again he may enter.

Other than the typical American tendency to root for the underdog, why am I supporting Chris Dodd?

First and foremost, he'd make a damned fine President. He's no heir apparent. He's no rock star. But he is a lifelong public servant who has been a champion of the middle class his entire career. While he is a very savvy politician, his energy has been focused on improving life for working class Americans. He has been doing what all politicians should be doing, working for the people, and helping to increase the middle class. After 8 years of corporate government, someone who will be a champion of the people is sorely needed.

Dodd's legislative experience is varied. He knows American foreign policy intimately, and he can and has eloquently put forth sensible plans on Iraq and other foreign policy dilemmas. He is on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and has spent much of his career on health care and education issues. And as the incoming Chairman of the banking and finance committee, he knows his way around a balanced budget.

Let's take a look at some of Senator Dodd's career highlights. He is one of the chief architects of the Family and Medical Leave Act. He was named "Senator of the Decade" by the American Head Start Association because of his tireless support for early childhood education. He has fought for and obtained health care for many of our country's uninsured children. He has fought for funding for local health care centers and emergency workers in local communities, making them better able to respond to terrorist attacks and public health emergencies. He was also the author of the Help America Vote Act, which, despite the GOP's best efforts, has made it easier for many Americans to cast their vote.

Senator Dodd graduated from College in 1966. Since then, he hasn't wated a moment in serving his state, country or planet. He served in the Peace Corps from 1966-1968, in the US Army Reserves from 1968-1975, in the US House of Representatives from 1975-1981, when he assumed the Senate seat he holds today. Senator Dodd got that 1966 degree from Providence College. That College's mission statement concludes, "Providence College prepares its students to be responsible and productive citizens to serve in their own society and the greater world community." In reality, the average Providence College student is bombarded not only with the importance of service to one's community, but with opportunities to do so. That is probably what PC does best.

Dodd's connection to PC is particularly important to me because, 39 years after Mr. Dodd, I too graduated from that college. Not only are we fellow Friars, but we are also fellow English graduates. In fact, I think there may actually be one or two faculty members we may have shared. While I was at PC, I was instrumental in reviving the PC Democrats, who were defunct when I arrived. As the group's President, it was up to me to chart our direction, make us into a stronger organization and lay the groundwork for our future. With the help of many very talented fellow students, I accomplished all of this successfully. But it wasn't just the Adam Roach's and Mike Raia's of the world that helped me do this, it was also the role models that came before me. People like Patrick Kennedy, Charlie Fogarty, Teresa Paiva-Weed, and a host of others, and of course, Senator Dodd.

I have every confidence that Senator Dodd will make a fine candidate. I know he will make a sensible and down to earth candidate. I also know he probably doesn't have a chance. But, people like underdogs, and once they get to know Senator Dodd, many will be impressed. And if a miracle happens and Chris Dodd becomes our President, it will usher in a new era of government working the way it ought to.

For more information about Senator Chris Dodd, visit his website at

If you want to donate to his Presidential campaign, you can do so below...

Chris Dodd for President Draft Fund$


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