Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mrs. Dodd Goes to Middletown

Tuesday evening at Wesleyan, moviegoers undoubtedly enjoyed Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Frank Capra's tale of an outsider from a small city who goes to Washington and is nearly crushed by the entrenched political powers. Meanwhile, Tuesday evening at City Hall, about 45 members of the Democratic Town Committee (DTC) were mesmerized by a visit from Jackie Clegg Dodd, Senator Chris Dodd's wife. At the end of the meeting they approved a resolution offering the full support of the Middletown DTC for Senator Dodd, who is facing a challenging campaign to win support for his reelection next year.

Mrs. Dodd gave a speech that was charming, funny, and passionate. She began by wishing all the best to Kate Drew, wife of Mayoral candidate Dan Drew, saying that being the supportive spouse of a candidate was an even harder job than being a candidate.

She then addressed Tuesday's vote by the U.S. Senate to cancel funding for the F22 fighter, whose engines are made in Middletown at the Pratt and Whitney manufacturing plant. She said that unfortunately Defense Secretary Gates, "led a bit of an intifada to cut the F22." She said, "Chris is trying to turn around the vote." [Senator Dodd, in Washington, released a statement regarding the F22, "I believe it is our duty and responsibility to protect the thousands of workers in Connecticut and across the country from losing their jobs and to ensure that our country maintains the ability to continue building the finest and most sophisticated fighter jets in the world."]

Mrs. Dodd spoke of her husband's recent difficulties, "Chris knows he's facing some real trouble in Connecticut and how tough it is for him." But she said that he was not thinking about his troubles, "He's focused on how tough it is for people going home." He is fighting day in, day out for people to make things better for the people of Connecticut. She listed his recent efforts in the Senate, which include getting Credit Card Reform passed, working for Tobacco regulation, getting the first housing bill in 25 years passed, and working on Obama's Health Care legislation.

After Dodd's speech, former Mayor Domenique Thornton rose to sing the praises of Senator Dodd, pointing to his service in the Peace Corps, the Armed Forces, his advocacy for the mentally ill, and for the Family Medical Leave Act. She introduced a motion for the DTC to express its support for Christopher Dodd. DTC chair Russo added an amendment instructing Middletown's delegation to the State Party Convention to vote for a motion supporting Christopher Dodd. The motion of support was passed unanimously.

Later, in the lobby, Mrs. Dodd spied me writing in my notebook, sought me out, and cheerfully accused me of being a blogger (she said the dirty bicycling jacket gave me away). She told me that she had no idea the DTC was making a motion of support, "That was a complete surprise to me." She railed against the Hartford Courant's coverage, and blamed all of the criticism he has gotten on "some" Republicans, "They can't beat him on the issues, so they need to attack his character."


argos said...

I did watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and perhaps this comment has been influenced by the film. The democrats falling all over themselves to praise Dodd is discouraging to me. I'd like to think that our locals are committed to honest public service and not to feathering their nests, but their closing ranks around Dodd and acting as if he is a role model does not encourage this view.

Anonymous said...

No one but a logger stirs his coffe with his thumb...And what separates a blogger from a common bum, a dirty bicycle jacket?!? How did this reveal that you are not so dumb...

Anonymous said...

I don't think saving jobs is a rationale for spending tons of money on a fighter that we apparently don't need. I don't want my Senator to fight to keep things in the budget for the purpose of saving Connecticut jobs.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous 3:36. As difficult as it is to re-tool people and industry, it does not make sense to perpetuate the production of needless military hardware.