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Simmons, who served four terms in the House before being ousted in the Democratic wave of 2006, said Tuesday he planned to file his election paperwork within the next 24 hours. The Republican said the level of interest in his making the race is high, particularly because of Dodds role on the Banking Committee during the nations economic struggles.
If he, for example, he had taken the gavel of the Foreign Relations Committee when Sen. [Joseph] Biden [D-Del.] became vice president, he could have shifted some of the attention away from himself, Simmons said.
A source close to Dodds office dismissed the notion that the Connecticut Democrat was rocked by last weeks AIG flap, saying the Senator is more concerned with helping his constituents recover from economic hardship than helping himself withstand any political hardship.
In fact, he sees his chairmanship of Banking as an asset if not a political asset, one he can use to benefit his constituents. Dodds schedule calls for two Banking hearings per week, and he plans to use them to push for an economic recovery.
I think hes rolling with the punches, and understands that people are angry by what they see going on in the economy, said the source close to Dodds office.
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) hosted Dodd in his 2nd district last week at the height of public outrage over AIG and conceded that his colleague has some work to do to rebuild his political standing back home.
Courtney said Dodd was well received at two events he attended with him on Friday. The Congressman said Dodd was upbeat and did not act like a politician on the ropes. Still, Courtney acknowledged that the road ahead is challenging.
I still believe that theres a latent feeling of goodwill toward him because people have known him for so long, Courtney said. I do think he needs to rediscover that connection by doing events along the lines of what we did Friday. I do think he can put his head down and work his way through this.
Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report.