Washington Prowler

Sens. Christopher

Dodd said to be reprehensible. Bond thought vulnerable.

By 3.9.03

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JUST A DODD ON THE MAP
Even some Democrats were taken aback by what one Democratic Senate staffer called Sen. Christopher Dodd's "boorish" comments about President Bush's national press conference.

In the aftermath of Bush's White House chat with reporters last Thursday evening, Dodd belittled Bush's manner and his comments, at one point telling reporters, "It was no Churchillian moment."

Dodd was one of the few Democrats willing to go out on limb and criticize the president after one of the starkly evocative press conferences in recent memory. Bush refused to be baited by questions about Vietnam, and instead focused his answers on those who really needed to hear his words: the men and women who may go to war and their families.

"Seeing what Bush was trying to accomplish, it makes Dodd's comments all the more appalling," says the Democratic staffer, whose boss supports the Bush Administration's Iraqi policy. "Daschle has basically taken all the leashes off and is letting Senators do what they feel they have to do on this issue. But Dodd's comments were reprehensible. Clearly things were weighing on the president. But we're a party that is going to have to take its potshots when we can."

HIS NAME IS BOND
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee doesn't have much to look forward to in the 2004 election cycle, what with more Democratic than Republican incumbents up for re-election and a grim outlook for fundraising.

What little good news there is has been coming in from polls in states were Republicans are up for re-election. And there isn't much. About the only good news was a Missouri poll that showed fewer than 50 percent of respondents would vote for Republican Sen. Christopher ("Kit") Bond next time around. "We think we may have a shot," says a DSCC staffer.

Perhaps, but Bond, a popular and seasoned pol, if nothing else, is already pulling in money from across the country. A fundraising foray in California appears to have gone well, and Republicans are not concerned about his position.

"He's certainly not someone we have to worry about," says a National Republican Senatorial Committee staffer. "It's too early to be looking at those kind of numbers."

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