Politico: Dodd To Stay At Banking
by Nathan Empsall, Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 05:29:33 PM EDT
Big scoop from Politico:
Sen. Chris Dodd is expected to remain chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, two Senate insiders told POLITICO.
Dodd is expected to make the announcement Wednesday, according to sources in Connecticut and Washington.
A decision to stay at the banking panel rather than take the gavel at the Senate would be a surprise after widespread speculation that the embattled Dodd would prefer to take the top spot at the Health, Education, Pensions and Labor committee left vacant by the late Ted Kennedy. But staying at Banking would allow Dodd to be the lead player on a major overhaul of financial regulations later this fall. With Dodd staying on Banking, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), would be next in line to take the Health committee chairmanship and guide that panel through the final negotiations on health care.
This comes as a bit of a surprise, given Dodd's friendship with Kennedy and his need for a poll-bolstering move, but it also seems like good news to me. Harkin's not a bad guy to have in charge of the labor committee; I'm caring less and less about Senate health care posturing in the hopes that the House takes the lead; and as iffy as Dodd may be at Banking, he's probably a better choice than the more conservative Tim Johnson (D-SD) would be. If Harkin does take the position, the embattled Blanche Lincoln will likely take over his role as Chair, a move that could help us keep her Arkansas seat in Democratic (if not progressive) hands.