The most vulnerable Democrat running for re-election in 2010, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), wants you to know: just because he took gobs of cash from the financial industry over the years doesn’t mean he’s a shill. In fact, he’s a champion of the little guy and a champion of regulation.
At least, that’s how his staff and image consultants want him to be perceived.
The Washington Post caught up with the embattled Senator to get a handle on Chris Dodd 2.0
Dodd denies shifting his philosophy on the financial industry in a bid to court voters. Over the years, he has championed consumer protection measures along with legislation that permitted banks to expand their geographic reach and business activities and, in the case of Wall Street investment banks, win federal protections. Dodd acknowledges that the near-meltdown of the financial system last fall proved that “firewalls” in the system he helped to erect “didn’t work as well . . . as you’d like.” After long fostering “creativity” in the banking industry, he said his goal now is to see that “the architecture is in place” to prevent a future collapse.
In an interview in his Senate office, Dodd likened the tension in his job to a statue outside the Federal Trade Commission building that depicts a man controlling a balky horse. “I want a muscular financial services sector,” he said. “But I want a muscular restraint so that it doesn’t run wild.”
Interesting analogy with the horse. What he doesn’t say is that the muscular, bulky horse just ran out of a barn door and Senator Dodd is now trying close it.
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