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Christopher Dodd: pushed by White House?

January 6, 2010 |  8:00 am

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd with presidential hopeful Barack Obama
It would surprise no one if the Obama White House helped steer embattled Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd toward the exit.

His latest approval rating hovers at 40%, hardly comfortable territory for an incumbent senator seeking reelection. He apparently never recovered from his association with Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo or that cushy VIP low-interest mortgage rate he got while chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

As for the White House, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, a former congressman and expert tea-leaf reader, is perhaps the most political man in a most political town. Senior White House officials privately communicated to Dodd their view that his position was untenable. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder suggested that a "sinecure or administration position is likely."

Reaction from Democrats was a collective sigh of relief. As political analyst Charlie Cook told MSNBC's First Read, "Dodd's retirement is the only good thing that's happened to Democrats this week. ... Dodd had little chance. Unlike many other states, the problem in Connecticut was the incumbent, not the party."

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

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