Monday, April 06, 2009

Barone again mentions Ironman & Dodd

TWL blogroll member Ironman was again spotlighted by Michael Barone in another piece on Senator Dodd's woes. Barone explains some background on how members of Congress choose committee assignments:

Dodd serves on the Banking Committee. Now in both the House and Senate the Banking committees (the title is Financial Services in the House) are not considered desirable assignments by most smart members. They lobby to get seats on House Ways and Means and Senate Finance instead. Over the years many of those who stay on Banking do so in order to curry favor with local bankers or networks of lobbyists: the kind of folks a talented member stays wary of. Plus, Banking handles a lot of arcane issues which are difficult to explain to ordinary voters. But the party leaderships usually are careful whom they send to Ways and Means and Finance. Chris Dodd stayed on Banking. And with the retirement of Paul Sarbanes in 2006 and the Democrats' capture of a majority in the Senate, suddenly in January 2007 Dodd is the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Here is where he makes his major miscalculation. He evidently doesn't figure that this will be an in-the-bright-national-spotlight position. Who did? Certainly not me.

Between his Presidential run and the bailout, things went sour. But this post is intended to explain some of the background on committee assignments and how banking is not desired. Funny thing is that I love the fact that Ron Paul is a member of House Financial Services. If it weren't for him, I doubt I'd know virtually anything about monetary policy.

Tim White

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