March 28th, 2008
09:35 AM ET
3 years ago

Dodd: Prolonged Democratic race 'devastating'

 Dodd wants the Democratic race to end soon.
Dodd wants the Democratic race to end soon.

(CNN) – Sen. Chris Dodd said Thursday a protracted Democratic presidential race would be "devastating" to the party, and argued an agreement should be worked out after the upcoming contests in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and North Carolina.

Dodd, a former presidential candidate and current backer of Barack Obama's White House bid, told the National Journal he thinks it’s a forgone conclusion Obama will be the Democratic presidential nominee, and said he thinks it's about time party leaders bring the race to a conclusion.

"We've got five more months to go before the Democratic convention at the end of August and, candidly, we cannot go five more months with the kind of daily sniping that's going on and have a candidate emerge in that convention," said the Connecticut senator.

"Over the next couple of weeks, as we get into April, it seems to me then, that the national leadership of this party has to stand up and reach a conclusion," he added.

Pennsylvania, a state where Hillary Clinton is heavily favored, is slated to vote April 22; North Carolina and Indiana head to the polls two weeks later. It remains unclear which candidates have the edge in those states.

Dodd's comments come one day after Clinton indicated she planned to stay in the race through the remaining round of primary contests. The latest votes, South Dakota's and Montana's caucuses, fall on June 3.

"I think the elections that are yet to come deserve to be held because the people from Pennsylvania to Puerto Rico to all the others that are waiting in line deserve to be heard. And I think that's part of the good," Clinton said Wednesday. Former President Bill Clinton also reiterated that sentiment, saying Wednesday, “my family’s not big on quitting.”

But Dodd said Thursday allowing the race to continue indefinitely would be "irresponsible."

"Allowing this sort of to fester over the months of June, and July and August, I think, are irresponsible," he said. "I think you have to make a decision, and hopefully the candidates will respect it and people will rally behind a nominee that, I think, emerges from these contests over the next month."

Specifically, Dodd said leaders among the Congress, governors, and at the Democratic National Committee need to work together to forge a compromise.

"It seems to me you've got to have an issue here that transcends your favorite candidate and decide whether or not the best candidate we have to win this election, to bring our country together and to get behind that choice, instead of having this sort of drip on for the next five months. That is devastating in my view," he said."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. G. Valentino, PA

    . . .Obama / Dodd 08.

    March 27, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. TRACY

    Hilary should QUIT now. She is tearing the Democratic Party to pieces and she does not care as long as she gets elected. She will do and say ANYTHING to further her agenda and has no concern about the party she will leave in shambles. Scorched earth, indeed.

    March 27, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. Michael

    If Texas or Ohio would have done the smart and reasonable thing and voted Obama then perhaps Hillary would have been out of it sooner.

    But they voted by race and gender and prolonged this contest, setting us back by 120 years.

    Hopefully it'll come to an end soon, perhaps after Indiana and North Carolina have had they're say.

    I would hope that Hillary would simply step down, but that's wishful thinking.

    Barack Obama in 2008

    March 27, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. DB, San Francisco

    Who will it take to get Clinton to bow out? Gore? Dean? Edwards? Does anyone in the Party have the kind of clout necessary? And if she wins Pennsylvania big, would she even listen? She is touting an argument now that is designed to take her all the way to Denver regardless of what happens. It would take, in my opinion, a majority of the remaining superdelegates backing Obama to convince her it was hopeless. As long as they stay on the sidelines, we are in this for the long haul, regardless of the damage it will do.

    March 27, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. MBFLA

    I think it has become pretty clear that some folks don't care about what is best for the party or what is best for the country as long as she wins!

    March 27, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. Jamie, NY

    Seriously? The Democratic Party needs to get with it and let the states have their say. Figure it out after June 3rd, when everyone has had a chance to be heard!

    March 27, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Austin, TX

    Again, what is wrong with letting everyone have their say? I don't get it. If it is likely that Obama wins, what is the harm in everyone getting a vote, finally? I would hate to be in that state that gets cut off, just because we want to "wrap things up." After all states and territories get their say then the superdelegates and all are more than welcomed to convene before convention to come up with a plan. But why cut things off early by a four or six weeks just to get it over with?

    March 27, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. ben

    He's absolutely right. Hillary has run a hard fought campaign, but she needs to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. She simply cannot overcome Obama in pledged delegates and popular vote, and the superdelegates know that it would be political suicide to override the will of the voters. The time has come to bow out of this race and make an honorable exit.

    March 27, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Carl from Pa

    We all know if the tables were turned, there would be much more pressure on Obama to gracefully leave the contest. You know what, I think he much just do such a thing in that position because that is the kind of man he is. Winning at all costs does not speek well for a president or a country. I hope more people speak out about this and we all come together sooner rather than later.

    March 27, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Manuel TX

    The solution is simple.

    Have Obama step down from the race.

    He's unelectable in the general.
    :)

    March 27, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Craig TX

    I am amazed at Dodd's comments. How can he possibly expect Hillary to drop out before the voters have spoken? Thank God this senile old man dropped out of the race long ago. Now he should show some common sense, let the candidates finish the race, and stop trying to interfere with our democratic political process.

    March 27, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. John

    Should let FL and MI re-vote or just take their vote, this way everyone's voice is heard. And the race should end soon. Or maybe it already ended.

    March 27, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Adam692

    Americans are always in a hurry. That sentiment got us President Bush instead of President Gore: we need to know Now! What's wrong with waiting for the democratic process to play itself out? It's as if we only want to give lip-service to democracy. If the Democrats later want to make all their primaries occur early so the general election can drag on and on, they can change the rules for next time. It seems to me we don't have an issue about transcending a candidate; we have an issue about whether or not all voters or just some voters get to decide.

    March 27, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. Eric in Lincolnton, NC

    Hey dummy!! What about the voters for Hillary? Naturally you would say something like that, you support Obama!

    Hillary 08!!

    March 27, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. Grif

    Too Late... They don't want Hillary. And Obama can't win in

    November by himself.. He the one who cheated at the begining by hiding his past... Hiding the truth is a form of lying...

    Unless you don't want to see it...

    March 27, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Free Elections

    What are we having an election or a coronation? Why don't we just dispense with the whole mess and nominate Obama now. Why waste the voters time and money. Then we can have all themoney to beat McCain in November. Sounds good to me Senator Dodo.
    The party knows best. Screw the voters and who they want.

    March 27, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. Tim

    How many is that now? Pelosi, Richardson, AND Dodd? The pressure is mounting on Hillary. She needs to realize the futility of her efforts.

    March 27, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Sick

    Okay, so now not only will Florida and Michigan voters be disenfranchised but also voters in all states that vote after PA, IN, and NC. This is not the Democratic party; it is the party of those favored by HD and other leaders of the DNC. I have had enough of the DNC and I have voted for the Democratic nominee for President since Carter. I am beginning to think L Dobbs is right; we need an Independent.

    March 27, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. VOTER FOR TRUTH, DIGNITY-OBAMA/EDWARDS 2008

    I FORGOT TO THANK YOU, Mr. Dodd!

    March 27, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. HILLARY!

    Oh, yes it sure is DEVASTATING that Dodd's choice can't win without 10 STATES VOTING...just SHUT-UP!

    March 27, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Spider

    Wow. An Obama supporter wanting an early end to the campaign. That's odd. As close as this contest is, why would either of the candidates back out now? Hillary should stay in the race and let the decision be made at the convention. If we, as a party, are going to unite behind a common candidate, we have to let this whole thing run it's course. Force one of the candidates out now and you will cause a lot of that candidate's supporter's to vote Republican or stay home come November. As the Beatles would say, "Let It Be."

    March 27, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. Ann Marie

    I am so very sick of certain Democrats coming out to push for the end of the race. It is beyond my reasoning how this makes sense to them. What about our free and right to vote. What about every vote must count.? The campaign is not going to switch Democratic voters but these idiots calling for an end to the campaign sure will.
    In regards to the SuperDelagates..What is the point of having them if they are to follow the crowd. Pelosi needs to explain if they are to vote why would they not have the right to vote as they want. She needs to get back to Washington and try to get things done there. Leave the Superdelegates to do as they see fit....

    March 27, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  23. Sue

    I agree with Senator Dodd. This race should have already ended. Go home Hillary and Bill. What don't you understand about the American people not wanting you to be Their President. You two have brought more dishonor to this contry than you can even imagine. You Lost Hillary, let's get on with what is important such as the issues!!!

    March 27, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  24. Jack Mpls

    At least he doesn't sound as whiney as the "Obama Girl" Stop Hillary Stop What are you doing lol What a whiney person. But Off course Dodd wants it to end. Fact is they are scared they know when it comes to the end the super delegates will vote for Hillary and Obama will lose the nomination because they know he will not have the back bone to fight against McCain. The Wright ordeal is the tip of the iceberg and if you can 't get your religion in the fold correct when running the right wing republicans use it as their weapon every time.

    March 27, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. Nando, Florida

    I agree and so does most of loyal Democrats .

    March 27, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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