Now Dodd Can Make a Real Difference
Lame duck can cut a deal with GOP on financial oversight
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2010 11:37 AM CST
President Barack Obama campaigned for Dodd before he quit the race.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Sen. Chris Dodd’s decision not to seek reelection could make financial regulatory reform more likely while burnishing his own tainted legacy. Oddly, the route to legislative success for the historically Wall Street-connected Dodd would require him to back away from the more populist, pro-consumer stance he took when his poll numbers bombed following the housing mess and disclosure of his perks from Countrywide.

When Dodd was in reelection mode, he pushed for more stringent reform that had little appeal across the aisle. He needed to appease his constituents, who were “in a grumpy mood,” one pollster tells the Los Angeles Times. Now he has the latitude to compromise with Republicans, and actually get something done. “It makes it easier to achieve a bipartisan bill,” a financial industry lobbyist says. “Every leader worries about his legacy,” a consumer advocate adds. We’ll see what that is.