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Biden’s V.P. Search: Chris Dodd, a D.C. Insider Helping Pick the Democratic Running Mate

  • August 10, 2020

The choice is about comfort and trust for Mr. Biden, his friends and allies say: Mr. Dodd, a fellow septuagenarian Irish Catholic from the Northeast, has known Mr. Biden for decades and is intimately familiar with the capital’s corridors of power. As a legislator, Mr. Dodd was regarded as canny and effective by bipartisan consensus, traits that could serve him, and the former vice president, well in a role that necessarily entails seeking agreement from disparate groups.

Yet his involvement in 2020 has also struck some Democrats as curious, at minimum, from the moment it was announced in April. As Mr. Biden pledges to name a woman to the ticket and works to convince progressive voters that he hears their calls for wide-scale change, he has elevated, in Mr. Dodd, a Washington uber-veteran long trailed by allegations of personal and financial indiscretion.

Criticisms of Mr. Dodd, lobbed quietly in some Democratic circles for months, spilled into open view late last month after Politico reported that Mr. Dodd had privately complained about a lack of “remorse” from Senator Kamala Harris of California, a top vice-presidential contender, over her attacks on Mr. Biden when she ran for president last year.

While former staff members have defended Mr. Dodd as a champion of women and he issued a statement saying the remarks as reported “do not represent my view on Senator Harris,” some younger Democratic women have accused him of conveying a retrograde vision of female political ambition. “The 1980s called,” tweeted Jess O’Connell, a former top adviser to Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, “and wants Sen. Dodd back.”

But then, so did Mr. Biden, a fact as reflective of his political instincts as any vice-presidential pick he might make.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/08/us/politics/biden-vp-chris-dodd.html

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