The lag was fast.
Chris Dodd soon became popular on Twitter on Monday morning. The voice choir asked if Biden had wrongly authorized an old friend from his time in the dominant male Senate to manage his potentially historical selection. They accused Dodd of singling Harris for behavior that is rarely criticized when a man does it – aggressively following an opponent in a debate.
“Hey, @SenChrisDodd,” Democrat strategist Hilary Rosen wrote on Twitter. “It simply came to our notice then. Shut up. ”Biden himself came to a press conference prepared to talk about Harris, hoping for questions.
Sunny Hostin raised the issue again on Tuesday in the ABC show “Image”;.
“I thought, how many times have a woman been told to stay in her place?” Hostin said, “Do something different than men always do?”
Sources close to Dodd and having knowledge of 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 vice presidents, party leaders, former and current elected officials, and supporters, said their main contact with the selection team is Dodd.
Biden and Dodd were cast in the same form. Like Biden, Dodd sought to capture the Senate’s long career by proposing a White House – both in 2008. Unsuccessfully defeated. Biden’s supporters and like-minded people said they were both very close; some even described them as brothers.
And when it came time to narrow down his choice of vice president, Biden turned to his loyal friend, whose political instincts he trusted.
“It simply came to our notice then [the late Sen.] John McCain did – led some political workers. He wanted a friend. Someone he’s known for 30 years, “said Biden’s longtime trustee. “He wants to make sure he doesn’t fall for someone who only feels his pulse every day.”
Throughout the inspection, Dodd was the voice at the other end of the phone, reassuring local party leaders, current and former elected officials, and top donors. It is also the one to which people with certain problems with the candidate have gone for criticism or opposition research.
“He couldn’t choose a better man to help him cast a ferret,” former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in an interview. “Chris is really good, I’ve talked to him often.”
Connecticut spokeswoman Rosa DeLauro, who served as Dodd’s chief of staff in the 1980s, said the trust factor clearly led Biden to appoint VP.
“It simply came to our notice then. You have a lot of 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. “They both became friends so early – 30 years ago. They were good friends, knew each other and knew each other’s families very well. “
But Dodd’s critics have sworn in since Monday that he is not fit to play such an important role in electing a woman as vice president.
“At a time when the country is going through the biggest crisis it has ever seen, from a pandemic and racial inequality to a very stormy democracy president, we need to make sure leaders reflect the candidate’s vision,” Camille Rivera said. , a Democrat strategist with a progressive firm in New York. Chris, as head of the committee, has to take into account how the general public will react to those comments – especially to the colorful woman. He is responsible for spending time. “
Others say Harris asked himself these questions. Biden, as a Democrat leader, was the main punching bag for the game’s opponents. But his campaign at the time Harris attacked the attack as a different, cheap shot because it meant he was a racist. (Harris began his attack by saying, “I don’t believe you’re a racist.”)
Through a spokesman, Harris declined to comment on Dodd.
Former California elder Barbara Boxer, who advised Democrat strategist Rose Kapolczynski, said she didn’t care much about Dodd’s role in the verification process.
“People may not like Chris Dodd for some reason, but I think it’s wrong to say that because of his race and gender, he can’t make bold and transformative recommendations,” she said.
Hubbub encouraged Doddo’s loyalists to jump into his defense. Among them was Minion Moore, who was appointed by Dodd, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, as the first major African-American political director.
“He saw my skills and thought I deserved a job, and several people competed for that job. He was definitely a boss and a friend over and over, ”said Moore, who later served as a close advisor to Hillary Clinton.
“In terms of opportunities, Chris Dodd has opened the door for me and the women,” DeLauro said.
A source close to Dodd said Wednesday he sees Harris as a friend and an early supporter of her Senate campaign. The person said Dodd spoke to Harris several times during the inspection, but he would not name those calls.
“He talked to all the candidates and to others. He had hundreds of conversations, “the source said, adding that Dodd is not responsible for the inspection:” There is no manager, they all talk to people and contribute to the vice president. This is a decision of the Vice President and himself. “
Other members of the committee include Cynthia Hogan, an adviser to the White House and Senate, Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.). Other campaign advisers Dana Remus, former Obama White House adviser Bob Bauer and former national security adviser Lisa Monaco, who were involved in the screening of candidates.
California governor lieutenant and Harris supporter Eleni Kounalakis said Dodd had said “very supportive things” about Harris in recent days. “The fact is that strong, clearly stated, ambitious women are role models in our country,” Kounalakis, a former ambassador and the first woman to occupy state no. Post 2. “A woman can be all of this and continue to be a loyal vice president who is fun to work with.”
On Wednesday, Rosen insulted Dodd that he could find out the details of the search.
“I hope Joe Biden has chosen a good vice president because he knows the role better than anyone,” Rosen said. “I pick up a few advisers who talked to the candidates, but they’re relentless,” she added to Dodd, “demonstrated her performance and it was a mistake.”
The Biden campaign and Dodd took steps to prevent Monday’s report, but it took some time.
When POLITICO addressed him with his reports on Sunday, Dodd declined to respond. Nearly two days after the narrative, his office issued a statement to Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, noting that Dodd had “hundreds of conversations related to the vice president’s search.”
While he did not want to “dive into speculation” in commenting on the issue, the statement added that “the anonymous comments reported in politics at POLITICO yesterday do not reflect my views on Senator Harris or what I share with Vice President Biden, and I need them. be addressed. ”
Biden himself attended a press conference on Tuesday to address the Harris issue. A list of bullet points he held in his hand was recorded by an Associated Press photographer.
“Don’t be offended.” “Campaigned with me and Jill.” “Talented”. “Great campaign help.” “Great respect for her,” the remarks read.
The reporters he invited to ask did not ask about Harris.
Injury control continued until Wednesday night, when Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon seemed to criticize Dodd’s comments as a sign that Biden would somehow blacken Harris as she showed ambition.
“Ambitious women are making history, changing the world and winning. Our campaign is full of ambitious women seeking all of Joe Biden,” she wrote on Twitter. “He will make that decision and it is clear: whoever chooses from the highly skilled options to help win and unite the country will be.”