In a major surprise, two leading Democratic Senators have announced that they will not seek reelection in 2010.
Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the embattled Connecticut Democrat who was facing an increasingly tough bid for a sixth term in the United States Senate, has decided not to seek re-election this year, Democrats familiar with his plans said Wednesday.
Mr. Dodd, 65, a pivotal figure in the major debates now confronting Congress, is to announce his decision at a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Connecticut...
...The developments underscored the fragility of the Democrats’ 60-vote Senate majority, which is just enough to block Republican filibusters. Democratic incumbents also face serious challenges in Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada and Pennsylvania among other states.
In this case, Mr. Dodd was already considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats facing re-election this November, and party officials had been privately hoping he would step aside. His move opens the way for the state’s highly popular attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, to run. Democrats and Republicans said he would be a much stronger candidate in what is a Democratic state…
Inserted from <NY Times>
I look at Dodd’s resignation as more of an opportunity than a loss. Dodd’s support for banksters over the American people will not be missed. Now we have a chance to replace him with a genuine progressive.
In a statement released this afternoon, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced that he will not be running for re-election:
I would like to do some teaching and would also like to work on energy policy in the private sector.
So, over this holiday season, I have come to the conclusion, with the support of my family, that I will not be seeking another term in the U.S. Senate in 2010. It is a hard decision to make after thirty years in the Congress, but I believe it is the right time for me to pursue these other interests.
Let me be clear that this decision does not relate to any dissatisfaction that I have about serving in the Senate. Yes, I wish there was less rancor and more bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate these days. But still, it is a great privilege to serve and I have the utmost respect for all of the men and women with whom I serve.
Dorgan is perhaps most remembered for his prescience in predicting the negative consequences of repealing the Glass-Steagall financial regulatory reforms, which broke down the barriers between investment and depository banking. Upon passage of the bill in 1999, Dorgan predicted, “I think we will look back in 10 years’ time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930’s is true in 2010.” Watch it:
During the recent health care debate, Dorgan introduced a measure to allow Americans to import foreign drugs, thus lowering the cost of prescription medications for millions of Americans. Under his direction, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee reported on the tremendous waste and abuse of military contractors operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dorgan has been a crusader for the middle class...
Inserted from <Think Progress>
The loss of Byron Dorgan, on the other hand, is a major hit. Perhaps he feels frustrated over the disingenuous tactics of the GOP to trash the country in hopes of gaining political advantage. They have made it virtually impossible for the Senate to do their work. I wish he would stay.
Nevertheless, let us thank him for his service to the nation, and wish him the best. His telephone number is (202) 224-2551.