Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) has been in trouble this year, dinged by AIG bonuses--and the news that, at the administration's request, he okayed the language in the TARP bailout that eventually allowed them; a special loan from Countrywide, which came to light last year, has also loomed. A March Quinnipiac poll showed him trailing a potential GOP challenger, and he stands as a prominent Democrat under fire as his party, generally, soars.
But Dodd, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, scored a major victory this week with the passage of credit card reform, which he played a large part in pushing through Congress.
And President Obama wants people to know about it.
"I want to thank all the members of Congress who were involved in this historic legislation, but I want to give a special shout-out to Chris Dodd, who has been a relentless fighter to get this done," President Obama said today when he signed the bill.
"Chris wouldn't give up until he got this legislation passed. He's spent an entire career fighting against special interests and fighting for ordinary people, and this is just the latest example."
Obama also sent an e-mail to 100,000 Connecticut supporters of DNC and Organizing for America, the Obama campaign website and supporters list now under the aegis of the DNC. In it, Obama asks recipients to thank Dodd, directing them to a barackobama.com web page where they can fill out a form and write a message of thanks.
"For too long American consumers haven't had many of the protections they need and deserve. And some of the biggest problems have been in the credit card industry," Obama wrote in the e-mail.
"But today -- thanks to the extraordinary efforts of your senator, Chris Dodd -- I signed a bill that restores a sense of fairness and transparency to the credit card industry," Obama wrote.
Obama hasn't been averse to electoral politics since he took office, as he offered an endorsement of Scott Murphy in his victory over Republican Jim Tedisco in the 20th District special election in New York. And to some extend, Obama is returning a favor: Dodd endorsed Obama in his primary bid against Hillary Clinton, after his own presiential run ended.
With 2010 so far away, it's hard to know how much trouble Dodd has actually been in. But it is safe to say that he's hoping he gets his share of credit* for the bill; now President Obama is out there helping him collect*.