March 28th, 2008
09:35 AM ET
7 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. Anthony- Los Angeles

    Imagine that! Another Obama supporter trying to end the race while he's slightly ahead.....that's not stop millions of people from voting just because your candidate of choice is currently ahead. It's obvious strategy based on disenfranchisement of voters. We're smart people. Don't play us for fools Mr. Dodd.

    March 27, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  2. GL

    Richardson, Pelosi, now Dodd. More than past due on shutting this down. Hillary has already lost. Biden, Edwards, Gore- this is your cue, please man up and shut this down already.

    Obama '08

    March 27, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  3. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    "the national leadership of this party has to stand up and reach a conclusion."

    Guess what? It's called democracy in action. The system was set up to institutionalize this kind of dissent, so people would be arguing in caucuses and on ballots instead of beating each other up on the streets. You don't like democracy? I hear Cuba's hiring.

    I'm for McCain, I have no dog in this fight. But to both Clinton and Obama's supporters; keep doing what you're doing. You are sticking up for what you believe in, you are doing what a democracy is supposed to do and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

    March 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. Jack

    Hillary piles on lie after lie, struggles for funding and has almost as many people hating her as Bush. She has borrowed her whole campaign from Obama, right on down to the "Change" mantra. Who's unelectable?

    Funny how the Clintonites keep throwing that out there, like it's not an obvious and contrived sound bite. Repeating it doesn't make it true.

    I mean really, have you somehow missed who the Repubs are throwing up against Obama?

    And now she's talking about how the pledged delegates are up for grabs? Hah. How desperate.

    March 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. Former Republican

    What those calling for the process to "play out" don't seem to understand is how much it benefits the Republicans. They are a lot smarter and better than we are at running for president: their winner-take-all format decides things a lot faster in the primaries, so they have a candidate much more quickly. That candidate sits back and watches the Democrats beat the living hell out of one another, going negative, doing the dirty work for the Republicans. Grow up Hillary backers, she represents old school politics, and her words and actions over the last few weeks have revealed her to be not a representative of the people and a change agent, but a ruthless, desperate, bitter, power-hungry person, terrified at the prospect of watching it all slip out of her grasp. That's too much like what we have seen for the last 8 years, and we are tired of business as usual.

    March 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  6. Debbie Finke

    Dodd, Richardson, Obama, Dean, Kerry, Kennedy, and Pelosi are all has beens who need to get out of the Democratic Party. This is a free country and Hillary should be allowed to continue in this race. It is Obama and his supporters who are tearing the Democratic Party apart. Obama needs to step aside and let someone else who can win have the nomination. HE WILL NOT WIN IN NOVEMBER AND WILL DISGRACE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. The fear that the Party leaders have is that more dirt will come out on Obama and it will. I can not believe anyone in their right mind could still vote for Obama today!!

    March 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. Hillary supporter

    This race should not be decided by anyone other than the voters. Let it go to the convention. We wouldn't be in this predicament if the media and politicians hand shown favoritism from the start to Obama and the venom and sexism that was directed at Hillary. The media has fueled this division amongst the voters and it started with the Iowa win. It never got better. The media and so many others just got more and more biased. Of course, many of us our mad. What do you expect? Everyone is pointing fingers now. The media should have done their job. Done it fairly and responsibly and without bias, They have twisted and turned and manipulated this presidential race. All for ratings. I'm so ashamed of there behavior because they are supposed to be professionals. Every news channel and everyone on it have been acting like clowns. This whole thing angers me more than any scandal in the US. They could care less about the Dems. If Hillary does not win the nomination I cannot in good conscious vote for Obama. If it was another candidate other than him–no, I wouldn't abandon my party, but because of all that has happened and how he has benefited from it –I cannot vote for him. I doubt this will get posted, but I'm sure someone will read. I honestly do not know how some of these people sleep at night.

    March 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Sheree

    He looks really pissed. Hillary is desparate and out of control. At this point she will do anthing to win this nomination, including damaging the Democratic Party irreversibly. What a selfish, selfish woman. My trust in her and her husband have gone by way of the doe doe. Glad Senator Dodd is speaking out. More need to.

    March 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Peter from N.J

    I believe that we should nominate Hillary, She is the best qualified.
    About the negative in the campaign, wait and see what the republican will do to Obama if is the nominee.
    We need a strong President and Hillary is.
    Since we are going to follow the rules of the party, we should follow them to the end for better and worse, let all the people have their voices counted .
    Have the Florida and Michican delegate seated at the convention.
    At the end if no one reached the number necessary for the nomination have the superdelegate have their say in nominate the candidate that can win in November.
    About the rules that the party has , I believe that they have to be changed and have all primay with the winner take all.
    Do not let People like Pelosi, Dodd, Richardson etc. suggest that Hillary has to withdraw for the good of the party.
    Hillary 08

    March 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Cathy, PA

    Dodd, I want my vote to count. You have no right wanting this election to be over without everyone's voice being heard. What are you worried about?? Obama losing??

    It's all over the news that Hillary can't win this thing, so what is the problem? What is so devastating.

    March 27, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. Conan

    So note to States, if your primary is not quick enough, it doesn't matter. There's democracy for you. Great job Democrats!!!!!

    March 27, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. Steve

    Bill is the only one who can tell Hillary she must stop, quit, throw in the towel.....ain't going to happen. Bill in pulling and pushing this poor women alll the way through hell. She is loyal to him as proven in the 90s and "Monica Gate". The DNC has no leadership that can trump Bill....Mr Vernon Jordan tried and has been side lined. We will see the party split and crash this summer. It is a train wreck that all can see but nobody can stop or those who can stop it won't, THE CLINTONS!

    March 27, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. sandy

    Well, it seems like we have a least one smart democrate. He is absolutely right in saying that the Democratic party has to stand up and say enough. The numbers speak for themselves in the fact that she cannot win. If the super delegates take this away from Obama, I think this country will pay the price.

    March 27, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  14. Slappaho

    would all you Florida lawbreakers get it out of you humid minds......There is no much as we would like to see it .......thats not gonna if you want 4 more years in Iraq then vote for McCain.....if not the democratic party has spoken.....Obama 08............GWB didn't have a recount for the hILLARY is not getting one either......tell your elected officials to follow the rules next time or elect new officials before the next primary suckers

    March 27, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. enomisa

    The Obama supporters have always been too apathetic to participate in the electoral process before.

    I could care less if they go back to never voting again.

    I will not install their nominee just to appease them.

    If they enjoyed life under two Bush terms, lets give them a McCain term as well.

    We party faithful have been there, caring for our country and voting for its greater good since we were 18. Ignore us at your own peril. How dare you blow off your base for a bunch of newbies who may or may not vote again.

    March 27, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Betty

    If Obama get the nomination, I will be voting Republican and I think a lot of people feel the same way, in fact I know they do. What is wrong with you and the American People to vote for someone that has such strong ties withe the Islam people. All I can here from the Democratic Party is about the Superdelegates. I believe Richardson from Mexico gave his superdelegate to Obama even tho Clinton won the state why aren't you telling him that his vote should go to Clinton. I honestly feel that if Obama get the nomination you just handed McCain the Presidency.

    March 27, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. March

    Amen, Senator Dodd; however, this race should of ended when Obama swept across the county and was 10-0. Instead we've had to endure Hillary spewing her lies, hate and tearing down the Democratic Party. She doesn't care if she destroys the party. It's all about her and her alone. Doesn't the party recognize this? Please wake up! The writing has been on the wall for 2 months,

    BARACK OBAMA, our next president!
    Yes we can!
    Yes we can!
    Yes we can!
    Yes we can!

    March 27, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. JCH in Philly

    This is outrageous that certain dems and the media are attempting to steal the OPPORTUNITY to win the nomination from Hillary. All of this talk from "party leaders" and the Obama-pom-pom media derives from on simple fact... Hillary is going to ROUT Obama in PA... which a big win could give her momentum to win in NC, IN, WV and OR.

    These dem leaderss and media outlets know this, and DO NOT want Hillary to even get close to PA. Whether its due to Rev. Wright, race, inexperince of Obama, or whateer., Hillary going on a winning streak creates a nightmare that the Dem. party and the media want to avoid... because how can you possibly nominate a candidate who has NO MOMENTUM and who is being hurt by scandals, etc.... but if you nominate Hillary (she may be behind 50 or pledged delegates after winning a few more states), the Dems risk alienating the black and uber-liberal vote... Personally, I support her and I all my family and friends are voting for her on Apr. 22


    March 27, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  19. Chad

    So why even hold Primaries in these states? Because EVERYONE should get a voice. If this prolonged campaign is bad, then next time we need one national primary. Until that time, shut up and stop whining.

    March 27, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. Stamford

    I am sorry I voted for you.

    March 27, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. Kay-Arizona

    Amazing. Some Democrats have had the opportunity to make their selection for the Presidential Nominee. Now they want to shut it all down before the rest of the State have a chance to make their selection. What are they afraid of? Back off and let everyone have their say, including Florida and Michigan. That would be democracy.

    March 27, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. Willie

    Shut up and let the superdelegates decide. If they choose Obama then fine and if they choose Hillary then fine. After these 10 contest, Hillary will close the gap on Obama and then what are you going to say about that? Obama is not going to widen his gap. The gap is going to close. There is no way that Hillary is going to get out of this contest. I wish that they would please stop bothering her about it.

    March 27, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. DT

    Last I checked this is still American and Hillary Clinton has every right to finish this thing to the end. Like it or not. Maybe if she was sofar behind but she isn't. Obama doesn't want her in the race any longer because she is pulling ahead in PA. If the people want Obama then vote for him. Let the people decide and not politicains with hiden agendas.

    March 27, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  24. Mike

    If you want both of the candidates end the fight.... just stop giving them fund and I believe they gonna stop..

    March 27, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. John2

    We need John and Liz Edwards! They have the clout to make this stop. John needs to step up now!

    March 27, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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