Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd has decided to keep his chairmanship of the Banking Committee, rather than take the helm of the prestigious Foreign Relations Committee, where he is next in the seniority line behind Joe Biden. Dodd announced his decision today at a press conference today, where he also outlined his plans for the Banking Committee in the coming session.
Next in line for Foreign Relations chair? Our own Senator John Kerry -- who would rather become Secretary of State.
If Kerry does get that appointment, the next name is Russ Feingold of Wisconsin -- a huge critic of the Iraq War (and the netroots' early darling for an '08 Presidential run). Washington insider paper The Hill reports that there is some talk of skipping Feingold in favor of a more moderate figure like Bill Nelson of Florida, for fear that Feingold heading that committee would feed into public concern of lefty liberals taking over Washington.
On the other hand, who better to lead the committee than a guy who's been right about the biggest foreign policy issue of our time?
Rumor has had it for a while that Dodd might prefer to wait to take over Ted Kennedy's committee that covers health care.
This is just the start of a major game of musical chairs on the committees, caused by the departure of Biden, the likely stripping of Joe Lieberman's chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee, the possible departure of other senators to join Obama's administration, and the rumored "stepping down" of Robert Byrd as chair of the Appropriations committee, as the elderly senator is no longer active enough to do the job.