Comment: Consider this: Geithner out and Dodd takes over? What?

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SteveMT's picture

Consider this: Geithner out and Dodd takes over? What?

From one frying pan to the next if this occurs.

Dodd To Treasury?

Roll Call speculates that Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) may not be retiring after all -- he may trade his office in the Senate's Russell Building for one in the Treasury. Could he replace Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary? It's not beyond the realm of possibility, but I doubt it.

Roll Call says:

For instance, several Democratic Senate aides noted that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is an extremely unpopular figure in the Senate. Geithner has also taken the brunt of the criticism for the administration's handling of the economy and, these sources speculated, if the country's financial picture does not brighten before Election Day, he could be the first secretary to leave the administration.

Although Dodd would appear to be well-situated to take control of Treasury if the position were to open, it may not be smooth sailing for his nomination.

I have a few thoughts about this. The conspiracy theorist pragmatist in me wonders if the Obama administration promised Dodd a prominent position -- even if it isn't Treasury Secretary -- in order to secure his promise not to seek re-election. Dodd's prospects of winning in November were relatively dim, and the Obama administration knows that it can't lose any Senate seats if it wants to push through its ambitious agenda in the second half of its term. Powerful Senators tend not to be meek or humble, so I find it surprising that Dodd wouldn't want to go down without a fight, unless he had some other incentive to throw in the towel early.

Yet, Roll Call makes an important point about potential trouble with the nomination process. There's a reason why Dodd may have lost re-election: he's become a very controversial figure, having been accused of being in bed with the banking and finance industry prior to the crisis. As Faiz Shakir at Think Progress notes:

Dodd's cozy relations with Countrywide and A.I.G. could subject his nomination to a messy confirmation battle.