U.S. Senator Dodd bows out of presidential race

Friday, January 4, 2008

Chris Dodd's official portrait.

United States Senator Christopher Dodd left the Presidential race last night with his head "held high", thanking "the Dodd Squad" and his supporters for their efforts and passion.

Dodd ended the night with the sobering support of just one state delegate's support in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. That was still better than Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich, who each received no votes of support. However, neither Gravel or Kucinich conceded, only Dodd and Joe Biden, who won the votes of 23 state delegates, or 1% of the vote.

Dodd's campaign began last year, at the Old State House in Connecticut, the location "where the first written constitution guaranteeing the right to representative government was enacted".

Dodd admitted that he "always knew" that his campaign would "be an uphill battle against very tough odds." But he rationalized that only "when you try can you truly make a difference. And that, my friends, we did."

Selections from his speech

This evening Democrats sent a clear message that this party is united in our belief that our nation needs change to restore our security, our Middle Class and all that makes this country great.

Our campaign has been about results. And even though tonight we didn't get the result we all were hoping for, this experience has been one of the most rewarding in my life of public service.

It was 47 years ago this month that I was seated with my family on the East Front of the United States Capitol in the bright winter cold and heard President Kennedy ask all Americans to be a part of something larger than ourselves.

It was a moment every American took part in. A moment that changed us as individuals and as a country.

For a generation of us, that moment fueled a hunger to answer the call of our President.

A hunger to make a difference.


While we came up short in the race for caucus votes tonight, our campaign has more than kept pace in the race of ideas.

By raising ideas no other Presidential candidate has ever proposed, let there be no doubt that this campaign has set the standard.

When we began this race, every Democrat was for ending the war in Iraq - a war that has made us not more secure, but less so.

But it was only when we stood up and said this President wouldn't get another penny to fight that war that other candidates committed to doing what was necessary to actually end it.

When we began this race, every Democrat—every American—agreed that in America, we should never need a national crisis to bring the country together with national purpose.

But only when we proposed a universal national service plan to create the first generation in history that served our country did the national service debate begin in earnest - to create that renewed sense of community we all want.

And after 7 years of insecurity and watching this President have to go into hiding when he traveled abroad, we were all for stopping this President's assault on the Constitution.

But it was only when I stood up and you stood with me—it was only when tens of thousands of Americans stood together and said we would do whatever it took to stop this President from shredding the rule of law—that we actually did stop him.

And that fight goes on.

Dodd recalled advice from his father, imparted nearly forty years ago: "There's no other calling in life where you can do as much for as many people as you can through public service. Lawyers only have so many clients. Doctors only so many patients. But a well-intentioned public servant can make a difference in the lives of millions."

Biden commented "I am not going away. I'm returning to the Senate as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will continue to ensure that we protect the nation’s security and show our country that Democrats know how to keep America safe, keep our commitment to our troops and restore our country’s respect in the world."