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. jr.

    Mr.Dodd just let the elction play out , you might get to be in office a little bit longer ,just remenber what Obama said you old people have to go.new reprisenatives are needed jounger people,so you might be history.

    March 27, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. Hillary 08

    Who would guess that Dodd would say something stupid like that!!! After all, he is dumb enough to be backing Obama isn't he, DUH!!!!!!! If Obama is so scared and wants this over.....then GET OUT!!!!!!! He can't win the Big States, the Hillary Votes or the Republican states!!!! No Hillary.......then McCain Will be in....is that what the Obama voters want???????? He's afraid that the voters have seen his true colors and Hillary will come on Strong!!!!!!! (So he don't want to give them a chance to vote or even have their votes count.....FL...Mich.) I bet if the voting started over...he would be out by now...because the voters have seen the type of Church beliefs he has!!!!! (If you stay in a Church for 20 Years, you have to of seen how the Preacher was along time ago!!!!)

    March 27, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Joanna from Michigan

    John–
    They absolutely CANNOT just count Michigan & Florida's votes the way they ended up. The only solutions are to leave them out or re-vote. Here in Michigan, most people got to the poles confused because Obama wasn't even on the ballot, and the people who knew the primary wouldn't be counted didn't even show up to vote. There were no instructions given to democrats when they received a Primary ballot regarding what to do if your candidate was not on the ballot, and the only Democrat on the ballot was Clinton. Even though I wish my vote would count, I sort of feel like my Democratic State Government knew the rules & that Michigan was running the risk of not being counted, but chose to ignore the rules - so tough luck. Michigan cannot afford another primary... and the Democratic National Party certainly shouldn't fund one, since they warned us not to move the primary up in the first place. It would simply be rewarding a state for not following the rules.

    March 27, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Maureen

    I think Hillary needs to gracefully step aside and allow Obama and the Democratic party to enter the presidential race against McCain instead of this continuous inner party destruction. Also, if the candidates and US citizens are so upset about certain states not getting to have input before the nominees for each party are chosen, then fix the primary system. Disenfranchising certainly describes the current system.

    March 27, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. giniajim

    Additionally, wasn't the primary purpose of conventions to nominate someone?? If a candidate doesn't have a majority of committed delegates for the first round? If Hilary and Obama think its important for the sniping to stop, it will. Let the process go forward. This was set up long ago; hard to believe that the thought was that the later primaries shouldn't count.

    March 27, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. Silly Season

    I'm just glad I don't support habitual liars like Hillary and hubby Bill. She can never be rewarded with the nomination after the way she has handled this campaign and damaged Obama and the Democrat party with her actions and words. She will never be forgiven.

    March 27, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. emmy

    Hillary is the ONLY one that can win the general election..if you want the dems to win..you better wake up people

    March 27, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  8. A.M. Saqib

    It makes all the sense. If Hillary Clinton is truly a sincere leader, and I think she is, she will gracefully get out of the race come down end of June.

    We need to have 'Democratic' president in whitehouse, and 'Obama' need to focus on hot issue and prepare the compaign against 'John McCain' as quickly as possible.

    A.M. Saqib
    Houston, Texas

    March 27, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. Criss in Chicago

    Dodd should tell Obama all Hillary is doing is following the rules as defined by the DNC. These rules were vital to Obama while attempting to deny the will of the people in Florida & Michigan. Obama expect Hillary to not follow the rules and stay in as long as she has a chance! I'm surpised Obama have not cited racism as the cause of her staying in the fight he likes to use that one.

    Lets play by the rules and may the best woman win!

    March 27, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. Djools from the Netherlands

    I agree. And there is already fall out.

    March 27, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Kathy Ritch

    Chris Dodd,
    You may back Obama for whatever political gain you may expect. I, however, as a citizen and advocate for fairness only expect that those who haven't yet voted have their say. The Democratic Party caused it's own impending demise with the election of Howard Dean and his subsequent idiocy in disenfranchising Florida and Michigan in an attempt to control the electorate. The Party should be trying to standardize the primaries by having the same voting process in each state: do away with caucuses altogether. Everyone should have the ability to vote either in a booth or by mail-in ballot with paper trails for all. Hold primaries by region and quit the nonsense about Iowa and New Hampshire going first. Dean and his Committee deserve the mess they've wrought. Put the blame squarely where it belongs, not on the candidates for doing what candidates do, but on the Democratic Party itself which is attempting to hijack the election.

    March 27, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Indiana4OBAMA

    Hillary 08? Shes dragging out the race so neither of them can win. She is making the campaign trail a negative one and ruining both candidates records. She's not a teamster. If she bows out she is taking someone else with her and unfortunately McCain will be the person waving goodbye as they fall.

    March 27, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. Dena

    The Republican candidates dropped out before all the states voted so I don't understand why can't Billary.
    She will never win the Presidency, no matter what.
    Billaries are making me sick and destroying the Democratic Party.
    If Obama doesn't get the Democratic nomination We will form a third party and win anyway!

    March 27, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Mike, Land O Lakes, FL

    Well, that would require Hillary to be a gracious loser. I don't see that happening. The Clintons would rather see McCain I mean McBush win.

    March 27, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  15. Tim

    Writing is on the wall and this will not go beyond NC. Superdelegates will step in before or just after NC and will end this. Obama is in the lead and will stay in the lead so there is no reason to let the race run just to let it run. He is in the lead in delegates, popular vote and number of states won. The Democratic states will vote Democratic and Obama has proven he can attract Rebublicans. This is over.

    March 27, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. Morgan

    The hypocrisy of the Clintons and their supporters is staggering. Where were all your tears when every primary in NC in my lifetime had been decided long before we got to vote?

    The Clinton's strategy of trying to go into each campaign with a huge lead in 'superdelegates' to force the race to end as soon as possible is suppose to enfranchise us how exactly?

    This is why I loathe the Clintons. Stop the lying. Stop the constant spin. Can't you people be honest and straight with the American people just for one single moment?

    March 27, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. Undemocratic Democrats

    I am ashamed of my political party. We Democrats should be about empowering the voters and giving a voice to all of us. Instead, party insiders are trying to quash votes -both in upcoming primaries and Florida and Michigan. It is undemocratic to stop the voters from having their say. If Obama is going to win, then let's have at it and let the democratic process run its course. Are they afraid that Obama is hiding something else or that it will become very clear that the voters really would prefer to have Hillary as their nominee. Anyone who asks for this race to end prematurely does not respect the MILLIONS of people who voted for Clinton, does not respect democracy, and isn't worthy of being a government leader. This race is very close (he leads in pledged delagtes- she leads in electoral college votes) and there is no reason to stop it prematurely. This is the process the party established with its rules so let's just sit back and let the voters speak as the process intended.

    March 27, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. Adrian

    Recount Texas and Ohio, but this time subtract the Republicans who voted for Clinton to prolong the Democratic race.

    March 27, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. Steve

    Dodd is a jerk and an Obama supporter. We know why Dood wants the race to end cause he wants Obama. I say to that, buzz off.

    Untill all voices are heard, all voters have voted there should not be an end.

    March 27, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. Illiniois Dem-Libral

    This is nuts, the primeires are for fighting it out, please this is not devasting, devasting is not having health insurance, a job, food on the table. I am so sick of this overtly sweet lets play nice children. I want us to talk about what we our leader to care about and I am tried of this Obama walks on water and he is the best thing how the hell do we know that for sure, we need to see how he handles this challenge since he sure has not been. I want to know why Obama did not attended the engry conference that was held in Houston this past month, Hillary was there. The President of Shell oil was on Charlie Rose the other night and he said he and the conference was very disappointed that Obama was a no show. They talked about how to protect the enviroment, what we need to do about oil and engry. He said Hillary's plans were very well received and they were duable. Obama just likes to have rallys were he can give speech, have you noticed he does not like small events, seems he is not confortable without giving a speech. I want conference on race, gender and etc. I don't want to hear another speech. I want to hear plans to make Women feel they are still apart of this party since we are not good enough to become president. But none of this will happen because the guys want this to come to end, because guys don't feel confortable talking only lecturing it seems.

    March 27, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. Conrad

    Hillary is good,but they are liars,starting from Lewinsky,Bosnia and The name Hillary,12 years ago,when she saysthat she was given that name because of the person,Hillary who climbed Mount Everest,supprissing,Hillary Clinton was already 6...Give us a break Clints Family,we dont need liars,ur supporters like Newyorksgovernor is the same...If not Obama,somebodyelse,but not Hillary,Idont care about privacy,but if ur apublic leader u have all prevallage,and there is no difference btn Public and Privacy life.

    March 27, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. dee kay

    Shut up Dodd...why are you and Obama so scared to let the people vote? If the shoe were on the other foot you'd be crying to keep the race going into eternity. Just shut the whining up and be like Hillary and grow a pair!!!

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

    Well, the DNC has brought this on the Democrats themselves. They should have counted Florida and Michigan, and they should make a uniform voting system in each state. Cacuses should go by the wayside - look at Texas. Hillary won the vote - but then people had to stay in cacuses until three and four in the morning. I wouldn't have been able to stay for the caucuse either. Some of us do have jobs and children that attend school. I will not vote for Obama - if Hillary is not the candidate, my vote goes to McCain or I will stay home. My husband, my father, and my children will do likewise!

    March 27, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  24. Robert Zuckschwerdt

    If Dodd likes Obama, naturally he wants Hillary out. How he can ignore Obama's sitting in a church exposing hatred for America is beyond me.

    March 27, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. ricksp

    Who cares what Chris Dodd says anyway? He is just an old fart who is scared the race will give McCain the edge. I think it would be exciting for it to continue. I believe alot of this new interest in the elections will wan if the Democratic nominee is declared. People may lose interest and feel Obama has the presidency locked up and not vote which will pander to McCain.

    March 27, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
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