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Dodd and Biden send their regrets

August 9, 2007 |  2:14 pm

Two Democratic presidential contenders won't be present for tonight's precedent-setting debate on gay issues in Los Angeles, but one --- Chris Dodd --- is trying to be there in spirit.

Dodd, who remains an afterthought in the polls both nationally and in the key early-voting states, chose to spend his day in New Hampshire, where he delivered a speech on education policy in the morning. But in a release issued by his campaign, the Connecticut senator said he was "sorry" he would miss the forum and praised it as "an important and historic step for the nation because addressing equal rights and responsibilities for the (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) community is fundamental to fulfilling America's promise."

More to the point, he also pledged to provide delayed answers to the questions posed this evening on his website.

Joe Biden is the other absent Democrat. He long ago had agreed to deliver a lunch-time address at a gathering of the Congressional Black Caucus in Mississippi, meaning he would have faced a vicious commute.

-- Don Frederick