Backlash was fast.
“Chris Dodd” soon appeared on Twitter on Monday morning. The chorus of voices asked if Biden had wrongly authorized an old friend of his time in the predominantly male Senate to direct his potentially historic choice. They accused Dodd of singling out Harris for behavior that is rarely criticized when a man does it – aggressively following his opponent in a debate.
“Hello @SenChrisDodd,” Democratic strategist Hillary Rosen wrote on Twitter. “This is a type of crazy behavior that this process does not require. Shut up. “Biden himself arrived at a press conference prepared from the points of conversation about Harris, waiting for questions.
And on Tuesday ABC “Look”; Sonya Hostin raised this issue again.
“I thought, how many times are women told to stay in their place?” Hostin said, “Do something different from what men always do?”
Sources close to Dodd and those familiar with the selection process said his role was no greater than that of the other three members of the search committee.
But dozens of Democrats – including former EP short-term aides, party leaders, former and current elected officials and donors – said their main contact with the selection team had been added.
Biden and Dodd were cast in the same mold. Like Biden, Dodd tried to limit his long career in the Senate by applying to the White House – both of which failed in 2008. Biden’s supporters and his comrades said they were very close; some even described them as similar to the brothers.
And so, when it came time to limit his choice of VP, Biden turned to his faithful friend, whose political instincts he trusts.
“He did not want to do anything [the late Sen.] John McCain did – put in charge of a political operator. He wanted a friend. Someone he has known for 30 years, said Biden, a longtime confidant. “He wants to make sure he doesn’t face anyone who just feels his pulse every day.”
Throughout the investigation, Dodd was a voice on the other end of the phone, trying on local party leaders, current and former elected officials, and top donors. He is also the one who has been criticized or opposed by people with special concerns about the candidate.
“He couldn’t have chosen the best person to help him figure it out,” former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in an interview. “Chris is really good. I’ve talked to him quite often.”
Connecticut residency Rosa Delauro, who served as Dodd’s chief of staff in the 1980s, said the confidence factor clearly led Biden to appoint him.
“It’s a crazy town. You have many acquaintances, but you have few friends – people you can count on on the one hand, whom you can trust in good times and bad, “she said. “The two became friends so early – 30 years ago. They were good friends, got to know each other and got to know their families very well. “
But Dodd’s critics rushed in on Monday, saying he was unfit to play such an important role in the election of a woman vice president.
“At a time when the country is experiencing the biggest crisis anyone has ever seen – from a pandemic to racial inequality to a very tumultuous democratic primary, we need to make sure that leaders reflect the candidate’s vision,” said Camille Rivera, a democratic strategist with a progressive firm. New York. “Chris, as the chairman of the committee, must take into account how the general public will react to these comments – in particular, with a colored woman. He has a responsibility to remember the time we are in. ”
Others say Harris brought these issues on his own. Biden, as a democratic leader, was a bag for opponents in the primary. But his campaign at the time viewed Harris’s attack as a different, cheap shot because it meant he was racist. (Harris began his attack with “I don’t believe you’re a racist.”)
Through a spokesman, Harris declined to comment on Dodd.
Rose Kapolczynski, a veteran Democrat strategist who advised former Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, said she didn’t care too much about Dodd’s role in the investigation.
“People may not like Chris Dodd for any reason, but I think it’s wrong to say that because of his race and gender, he can’t give bold and transformative advice,” she said.
The commotion prompted Dodd’s loyalists to jump to his defense. They included Minion Moore, whom Dodd, a former chairman of the National Democratic Committee, appointed the first African-American political director of a major political party.
“He saw my skills and thought I deserved the job, and several people competed for the job. He was definitely a boss and a friend through and through, “said Moore, who later became a close adviser to Hillary Clinton.
“In terms of opportunities, Chris Dodd has opened the door for me and women,” DeLauro said.
A source close to Dodd said on Wednesday that he considered Harris a friend and was a supporter of her campaign in the Senate. The person said that Dodd spoke to Harris several times during the inspection, but did not describe the calls.
“He talked to all the candidates – and others. He had hundreds of conversations, “said the source, adding that Dodd was not responsible for the inspection:” There is no leader, they all talk to people and contribute to the vice president. This is the decision of the vice president and only him. “
Other members of the committee include White House and Senate Attorney Cynthia Hogan, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garchetti, and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (de del). Other candidates for scrutiny include campaign adviser Dana Remus, former Obama White House adviser Bob Bauer and former national security adviser Lisa Monaco.
Eleni Kunalakis, a lieutenant governor of California and a supporter of Harris, said Dodd said “very supportive things” about Harris in recent days. “The fact is that strong, outspoken, ambitious women are role models in our country,” said Kounalakis, a former ambassador and the first woman to hold the position of держави2 state, Politico said. “A woman can be all of these things and still be a loyal vice president who works great.”
On Wednesday, Rosen blamed Dodd for leaking the details of the search.
“I trust Joe Biden to make a good vice president because he knows the role better than anyone,” Rosen said. “I’m gathering a few counselors who have talked to the candidates, but they are restrained.” Dodd, she added, “showed herself, and it was a mistake.”
Biden’s and Dodd’s campaign took steps to hold back feedback on Monday’s report, but it took them a while.
When POLITICO approached him with his report on Sunday, Dodd declined to respond. Nearly two days after the story ended, his office released a statement from Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, noting that Dodd had “hundreds of conversations about finding a vice president.”
Although he did not want to be “speculated” in commenting on the issue, the statement added, “the anonymous comments made to POLITICO yesterday do not represent my point of view on Senator Harris, nor what I shared with Vice President Biden, and should be to decide “.
Biden himself arrived at a press conference on Tuesday, prepared to address the Harris issue. The list of bullet glasses he held in his hand was captured by an Associated Press photographer.
“Do not bother me.” “Campaign with me and Jill.” “Talented.” “Great help for the campaign.” “Great respect for her,” the statement said.
But the reporters he called did not ask about Harris.
Injury control spread Wednesday night when Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon seemed to criticize Dodd’s comments as a sign that Biden would somehow show off to Harris because he was ambitious.
“Ambitious women make history, change the world and win. Our campaign is full of ambitious women who come together for Joe Biden,” she tweeted. “He will make this decision, and it is clear: whoever he chooses from the very qualified options that will help him win and unite the country, it will be the same.”