Swarms of reporters descended upon East Haddam on Wednesday for Senator Chris Dodd’s announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2010. Town residents had mixed reactions to the news. WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.
Senator Dodd stood with friends and family in front of his home, a restored 19th century schoolhouse in East Haddam, to announce that he would not seek a 6th term in Congress.
"I have been a Connecticut senator for 30 years. I’m very proud of the job I’ve done and the results delivered. But none of us is irreplaceable. None of us are indispensible. And those who think otherwise are dangerous."
Dodd thanked the people of Connecticut for their support, which has waned in the last year.
"You have honored me beyond words with your confidence. Let me quickly add that there have been times when my positions and actions have caused some of you to question that confidence. I regret that. But it is equally important that you know that I have never wavered in my determination to do the best job for our state and our nation."
Down the road at the Carriage House auto repair center, Robert Clark and Marty Witkowsky says Dodd’s done a good job and they’re sad he’s calling it quits.
"I personally met him and always thought he had great ideas for this country and for the people. And you know he worked hard to keep jobs in this state, and he ran for President and the mud-slingin’ went on and it stuck.
"He spent a lot of time and put a lot of effort into his job in all areas. Very good with the foreign affairs. Did the best job he could with the banking commission and did a great job in a time of crisis for our country."
But not all town residents agree. Richard Kelly took a break from lunch at the SnowDoggies Restaurant . He says Dodd should resign.
"…because of certain allegations about his mortgage. A lot of people are quite angry about it and they weren’t gonna forget. I think the Democrats were counting on everyone forgetting. I don’t think that was going to happen. And secondly, I think his involvement with the health care scheme was all wrong for the country.
During his announcement, Dodd talked about the health care bill handed to him by his friend, the late Ted Kennedy. Dodd says there’s sill a year’s worth of work to do, including work on health care. After that, he looks forward to spending time with his two daughters.
"Now there's nothing more pathetic in my view than a politician who announces they’re only leaving public life to spend more time with their family. The result of this announcement today I hope will create that opportunity."
He concluded his announcement by saying that he's still driven by the same passions that motivated him to try his hand at politics so many years ago.
For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.