Gibbs: Dodd's Retirement Won't Hurt Financial Reform

Earlier today on the Atlantic Business channel (and crossposted here on Politics), Daniel Indiviglio suggested Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd's retirement will hurt Democrats' chances of passing an ambitious package of financial regulatory reforms.

At his daily briefing today, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about that very notion. His response: it won't.

"I think Senator Dodd has been a passionate advocate for ensuring that we have rules in place so that what happened on Wall Street doesn't happen again, that we have strong consumer financial protections, and I think Senator Dodd will continue to work on that with his committee throughout this process," Gibbs said.

When asked, more directly, if Dodd will become something of a lame duck, Gibbs said: "No, look, knowing Senator Dodd and the passionate advocate that he is, I think he will continue to work hard and want to get this done by the end of the year, as the president does too."

Financial regulatory reform is a part of the agenda that could be important for Democrats in 2010 and 2012. Whatever they pass, it will account for Democrats' response to the question: as the ruling party, what action have you taken to keep Wall Street's excesses from happening again?

And Dodd has been a huge part of the reform process--reforms in the Senate were rolled into one package that Dodd pushed--and Dan points out that Dodd's bill is more ambitious than what's being shepherded through the House.

It is worth noting, however, that it's possible Dodd's favor-currying powers were already diminished a bit, as it was questionable whether he would be back after 2010, anyway--he trailed former GOP Rep. Rob Simmons by 11 points and his other GOP challenger, Linda McMahon, by two points in a November Quinnipiac poll.