Iowa Public Television

 

Sen. Christopher Dodd

posted on September 28, 2007

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Borg: NEXT STEP. CONNECTICUT SENATOR CHRISTOPHER DODD IS HOPING A 33-YEAR CONGRESSIONAL CAREER IS POSITIONING HIM FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION. WE'RE QUESTIONING U.S. SENATOR CHRISTOPHER DODD ON THIS EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.'

FUNDING FOR 'IOWA PRESS' WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; THIS IS THE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: THESE ARE CRUCIAL WEEKS FOR CANDIDATES HOPING FOR TOP-TIER SHOWINGS IN IOWA'S FIRST-IN-THE-NATION PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENTIAL CAUCUSES NEXT JANUARY, AND TODAY'S 'IOWA PRESS' GUEST, CONNECTICUT SENATOR CHRISTOPHER DODD, IS CAMPAIGNING HARD TO MAKE HOPE REALITY. THAT MEANS COUNTLESS APPEARANCES IN IOWA HOME LIVING ROOMS, SCHOOL GYMS, AND COFFEE SHOPS, THAT IS WHEN HE CAN GET AWAY FROM HIS SENATE RESPONSIBILITIES. AFTER SERVING SIX YEARS IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, HE'S NOW IN HIS FIFTH SIX-YEAR TERM IN THE SENATE WHERE HE CHAIRS THE BANKING COMMITTEE. SENATOR DODD, WELCOME TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

Dodd: THANK YOU, DEAN. GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

Borg: I'VE BEEN IN SEVERAL OF THOSE CAMPAIGN PLACES WITH YOU. I REMEMBER ONE IN A VERY CROWDED LIVING ROOM OVER IN CEDAR RAPIDS, AND I KNOW YOU'VE DONE THAT COUNTLESS TIMES.

Dodd: COUNTLESS TIMES. IT'S THE IOWA WAY AND I ENJOY DOING IT.

Borg: ACROSS THE TABLE I THINK TWO JOURNALISTS YOU HAVE RUN INTO ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. YOU KNOW THEM. 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: SENATOR, YOU'RE USING THIS TRIP THIS WEEKEND TO TROT OUT YOUR POLICIES FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT. TELL US ABOUT THEM. GIVE US A PREVIEW.

Dodd: WELL, THERE ARE FOUR OR FIVE POINTS IN IT. ONE IS THE FAMILY FARM ISSUE, WHICH IS STILL A BIG ISSUE HERE IN IOWA AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN THE MIDWEST, MAKE SURE THAT THERE ARE GOING TO BE SOME FAIR PRICES FOR THEM, AS WELL AS A SAFETY NET, IF THAT'S NECESSARY, TO MAKE SURE THEY CAN SURVIVE DURING DOWN TIMES. SECONDLY, TO TALK ABOUT THE ISSUE OF TRADE, WHICH IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT. I RECENTLY ADVOCATED LIFTING THE EMBARGO IN CUBA, WHICH COULD MEAN ABOUT $70 MILLION ANNUALLY IN BUSINESS TO THE STATE, THE FARM COMMUNITY IN THIS STATE, IF WE LIFTED THAT EMBARGO, JUST TO GIVE YOU SOME IDEA OF THE ECONOMIC IMPACT. SO TRADE ISSUES AND ENFORCING THEM, AS WELL AS EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES WOULD BE NUMBER TWO. THIRD IS ENERGY POLICY. THIS STATE HAS BEEN A GREAT PRODUCER OF FOOD OVER THE YEARS, BUT NOW ALSO IT'S OFFERING US THE OPPORTUNITY PRODUCING ENERGY FOR THE COUNTRY, DEPENDING LESS ON THE MIDDLE EAST AND MORE ON MIDDLE AMERICA, SOMETHING THAT I'D LIKE TO SEE US DO MORE OF. FOURTHLY IS HEALTH CARE. WE TALK ABOUT HEALTH CARE, BUT IN RURAL AMERICA IT'S EVEN MORE DIFFICULT TO HAVE THE FACILITIES, TO HAVE THE PROVIDERS OUT THERE THAT WILL REACH RURAL AMERICA IS VERY IMPORTANT. AND THE LAST PART OF IT -- I'M KIND OF RUSHING THROUGH THIS A LITTLE BIT FOR YOU, MICHAEL, HERE -- IS THE ISSUE OF OPPORTUNITY. TOO OFTEN I'VE SEEN IN THIS STATE, LOOKING AT THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF RURAL COMMUNITIES IN THIS STATE, WHERE YOU FIND THAT POPULATION BETWEEN 18 AND 45 OR 55 JUST DROPS TREMENDOUSLY BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE TO LEAVE. THEY DON'T THINK JOBS ARE GOING TO BE THERE, OPPORTUNITIES. BY EXPANDING BROAD BAND AND TODAY THE TECHNOLOGY THAT EXISTS, I THINK WE CAN BRING A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY TO RURAL AMERICA WHERE PEOPLE HAVE BETTER CHOICES TO LIVE IN PLACES THEY WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO DO TODAY. SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE MAIN POINTS I'M GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT AS I TRAVEL THROUGH THE NORTHERN CENTRAL PART OF THE STATE, MASON CITY TONIGHT, AND THEN ON THROUGH SIOUX CITY OVER THE WEEKEND.

Glover: AND DO YOU HAVE A PRICE TAG ON IT? AND IF SO, HOW MUCH?

Dodd: NO, I DIDN'T PUT A PRICE TAG ON IT PER SE. I MEAN SOME OF THESE ISSUES, THE PRICE TAG IS WHAT WE'RE NOT DOING, IN A SENSE. I MEAN HEALTH CARE, ENERGY POLICY, WE'RE BORROWING A BILLION DOLLARS A DAY, A BILLION DOLLARS A DAY TO BUY FOREIGN ENERGY IN THIS COUNTRY. I BELIEVE WE CAN REDUCE COSTS IN THAT, CERTAINLY BRING DOWN COSTS IN HEALTH CARE BY DOING THINGS LIKE HAVING TO NEGOTIATE FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. IF WE HAD DONE THAT ALONE IN MEDICARE IN THE LAST SIX YEARS, WE WOULD HAVE SAVED $330 BILLION UNDER AT LEAST SOME ESTIMATES. SO A LOT OF THIS MAY ACTUALLY SAVE US MONEY BY THESE THINGS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT, SENATOR, I CAN JUST SEE A NUMBER OF DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS GOERS LOOKING AT YOU AND SAYING TO THEMSELVES WHAT DOES A GUY FROM CONNECTICUT KNOW ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OF RURAL AMERICA.

Dodd: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I REPRESENTED A VERY RURAL PART OF MY STATE. I MEAN PEOPLE THINK OF THE NORTHEAST AS JUST BEING ONE LARGE URBAN AREA. THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT HAD SIX MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. I REPRESENTED GEOGRAPHICALLY ONE-HALF OF THE STATE, 60 SMALL TOWNS. MY FIVE COLLEAGUES REPRESENTED THE OTHER HALF OF THE STATE. SO I SPENT SIX YEARS AND COME FROM A SMALL COMMUNITY AS WELL. NOW, THEY'RE NOT FARM COMMUNITIES. THERE'S NOTHING MORE PHONY THAN TO WATCH SOMEONE WHO HAS NOT BEEN INVOLVED IN THIS BUSINESS TO PRETEND THEY'RE A FARMER. I'M NOT A FARMER. I'M LEARNING A LOT ABOUT IT. OBVIOUSLY OVER THE YEARS I'VE FOLLOWED TOM HARKIN VERY CAREFULLY ON ISSUES -- HE'S A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE -- ON ISSUES AFFECTING THE STATE. BUT MY STATE HAS HAD ITS ISSUES WITH RURAL AMERICA AND STRUGGLING AS OTHER STATES HAVE, SO I KNOW A LOT ABOUT THAT.

Yepsen: TALK ABOUT THE RURAL JOBS COMPONENT OF YOUR PROGRAM. YOU MENTIONED BROADBAND AND EXPANDING TECHNOLOGIES. HOW WOULD YOU DO THAT?

Dodd: WELL, ONE IS WE NEED TO SEE TO IT THE SPECTRUM -- WE'VE GOT TO HAVE A LITTLE MORE CONTROL OVER THIS. THIS IS SORT OF WHAT WE CALL SORT OF THE PUBLIC LANDS. GOING BACK TO THE MORAL ACT, WHICH CREATED THE LAND GRANT COLLEGES OF WHICH THIS STATE IS THE BENEFICIARY OF ONE, AS MY STATE IS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT. THIS IS MY IDEA OF SETTING ASIDE LANDS, IN A SENSE, FOR EDUCATION IN THE 19TH CENTURY. IN A WAY TODAY THE BROADBRAND IS THE LAND OF THE 21ST CENTURY AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT LAND ISN'T GOING TO BE GOBBLED UP AND USED BY SOME NARROW INTERESTS HERE, THAT WE'RE GOING TO INSIST IN LEADERSHIP IN THIS COUNTRY THAT EVERYBODY IS GOING TO BENEFIT FROM THAT KIND OF TECHNOLOGY. SO I'VE BEEN AN ADVOCATE FOR A LONG TIME. IN FACT, I'VE WORKED ON MAJOR LEGISLATION HERE TO INSIST THAT THERE BE MORE OF AN AUCTION PROCESS HERE SO WE GET THE REVENUES COMING IN, AND THEN TO INSIST THAT THAT KIND OF TECHNOLOGY IS GOING TO BE USED NOT ONLY BY THOSE WHO HAVE THE KIND OF POWER AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES, BUT BECAUSE IT IS PUBLIC PROPERTY IN A SENSE THAT WE OUGHT TO BE INSISTING THAT EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY LIVE ARE GOING TO BE BENEFICIARIES OF THOSE ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY.

Borg: YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU'RE NOT A FARMER BUT YOU HANG AROUND A LOT WITH TOM HARKIN, WHO CHAIRS THE SENATE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE. AS YOU KNOW, THE FARM BILL IS BEING REAUTHORIZED NOW. WHAT SHOULD BE CHANGED IN THE FARM BILL?

Dodd: WELL, AGAIN, I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE PROVIDE THE KIND OF SUPPORT FOR THE FAMILY FARMS HERE. I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF MOVING AWAY FROM THAT -- THE CONGLOMERATES, THE LARGE CORPORATE INTERESTS TAKING UP -- I'M TOLD THAT THE AVERAGE FARMER IN THIS STATE IS NOW ABOVE 55, GETTING CLOSE TO 60 YEARS OF AGE. AND THERE ARE GOING TO BE SOME BIG ISSUES ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THESE FARMS CAN MAINTAIN AND BE IN FAMILIES IN THE COMING YEARS. AND SO DOING WHAT WE CAN TO SEE TO IT -- I TALKED TO ABOUT EARLIER GOING TO BE FAIR PRICING FOR FARMERS SO THEY CAN EARN A LIVING AT THIS. I WAS ON A FARM A FEW WEEKS AGO WHERE TWO OR THREE CHILDREN -- ONLY ONE SON IS CARRYING ON THE BUSINESS, AND THAT SON HAS TWO OR THREE JOBS ASIDE FROM THE FARM WORK IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE FARM BUSINESSES.

Borg: DOES THAT MEAN MORE MONEY POURED INTO PRICE SUPPORTS?

Dodd: WELL, I'M WILLING TO SAY WE OUGHT TO BE WILLING TO DO THAT. I THINK IT'S A CRITICAL ISSUE HERE. I WORRY VERY MUCH ABOUT THE CONCENTRATION. BUT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF POWER HELD IN A FEW HANDS, DETERMINING WHAT PRICES ARE WHERE THE DIRECTIONS GO. I THINK WE BENEFITTED TREMENDOUSLY IN THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE OF THE DIVERSITY AND BECAUSE WE'VE HAD SMALLER FAMILY FARMS BEING ABLE TO PRODUCE AND SURVIVE AND CONTINUE TO OPERATE HERE. AND I'M WORRIED THAT IF YOU LOSE THAT, WE'LL LOSE A VERY IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN OUR COUNTRY.

Glover: ONE COMPONENT OF THIS ISSUE IS SOMETHING THAT TROUBLES A LOT OF PEOPLE, AND THAT'S LAND VALUES THAT ARE STARTING TO CREEP BACK UP TO CLOSE TO $5,000 AN ACRE. THAT WAS ONE OF THE TRIGGERS OF THE FARM DEPRESSION OF THE 1980S. ARE YOU WORRIED, PARTIALLY AS SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, THAT WE'RE HEADING BACK INTO THAT?

Dodd: WELL, I KNOW THAT HERE IOWA RATES COMES ARE FAIRLY HIGH WHEN IT COMES TO FORECLOSURE RATES IN HOMES, AND THAT'S ANOTHER ISSUE THAT WE'RE GRAPPLING WITH HERE. AND I DON'T KNOW WHETHER OR NOT THIS RECENT DOWNTURN IN THE ECONOMY IS GOING TO AFFECT LAND VALUES HERE. I KNOW WITH THE PRICE OF CORN GOING UP RECENTLY, WITH THE NEW ETHANOL OPPORTUNITIES AND SO FORTH, THAT MAY HAVE SOME EFFECT ON IT. I'VE RAISED THE ISSUE WITH PEOPLE HERE. WE'VE DONE SOMETHING BACK IN CONNECTICUT, A SMALL STATE. YOU'VE GOT COUNTIES THAT ARE BIGGER THAN MY HOME STATE OF CONNECTICUT IN THIS STATE. BUT WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS TALK ABOUT DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS IN CERTAIN AREAS. WE'RE ACTUALLY PURCHASING THEM SO THAT YOU'RE GUARANTEED THAT THE VERY RICH FARMLANDS IN OUR STATE -- THERE AREN'T MANY ACRES OF IT -- WOULD REMAIN IN THAT CATEGORY HERE. THERE'S SOME APPETITE FOR THAT. I DON'T THINK THERE'S PROBABLY MUCH OF THAT HERE, I'VE BEEN TOLD ANYWAY GOING BACK, BUT I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO STARTED LOOKING AT THAT. THIS STATE, I'M TOLD -- THIS IS A STATISTIC I'M STUNNED AT HERE, THAT OF ALL THE MOST FERTILE LAND IN THE WORLD, 10 PERCENT OF IS IT IN THIS STATE.

Glover: ONE OF THE WORRIES IS --

Dodd: AND LOSING THAT LAND AS YOU FLY OVER IT NOW, YOU SEE THE EXPANDING, OBVIOUSLY OUTSIDE THE URBAN AREAS -- LOSING THAT LAND, THIS INCREDIBLY RICH LAND, NOT ONLY IS A LOSS OF THE STATE BUT FOR THE COUNTRY. SO LOOKING AT WAYS IN WHICH QUESTION CAN PRESERVE THESE CRITICAL AREAS.

Glover: ONE OF THE ISSUES IS JUST THAT, THE CITY -- URBAN SPRAWL AND SO FORTH. BUT THE OTHER ISSUE IS WITH FARMLAND AT THAT PRICE LEVEL, FARMERS GET OVEREXTENDED AND THEY GET INTO TROUBLE WITH THE BANKS, THEIR DEBTS GET OUT OF CONTROL, THEY CAN'T MAKE A GO OF IT AND THEN CORPORATIONS COME IN AND TAKE OVER. ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THAT SIDE?

Dodd: WELL, THAT'S A POSSIBILITY. AS I WAS MENTIONING TO YOU EARLIER, ARE THERE GOING TO BE FAMILIES THAT ARE WILLING TO STAY IN THIS BUSINESS. THIS IS A TOUGH BUSINESS. FAMILY FARMING IS ROUGH. IT'S A 24-7 OPERATION FOR MOST OF THESE PEOPLE. AND WHETHER OR NOT YOU'VE GOT THE PEOPLE WILLING TO MAKE THOSE KIND OF INVESTMENTS, IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO DO IT, OR IF YOU'RE CONSTANTLY SELLING OFF ACREAGE IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO STAY IN BUSINESS, THEN I THINK WE CAN ALL SUFFER AS A RESULT OF THAT.

Yepsen: SENATOR, MIKE MENTIONED THAT YOU ARE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE. THIS SUBPRIME MORTGAGE LOAN CRISIS, A LOT OF FORECLOSURES ARE NOW STARTING IN IOWA. HOW BAD IS THIS PROBLEM? HOW BAD IS IT GOING TO GET?

Dodd: I THINK IT'S VERY BAD AND IT COULD GET A LOT WORSE. DAVID, I'M VERY WORRIED ABOUT WHERE IT'S GOING. I'M A GREAT ADVOCATE OF SUBPRIME BORROWING. I THINK HOME OWNERSHIP IS ONE OF THE GREAT WEALTH CREATORS, NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZERS, COMMUNITY BENEFICIARIES OVER THE YEARS, AND I'M VERY WORRIED THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE HOME OWNERSHIP BECOME LESS ATTAINABLE FOR TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY, SO I'M VERY WORRIED ABOUT WHERE THIS IS GOING. YOU MAY HAVE SEEN THE NUMBERS RECENTLY HERE ABOUT HOW HOME PRICES AND LAND PRICES ARE ACTUALLY COMING DOWN IN MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. FORECLOSURE RATES ARE UP 276,000 IN THE LAST QUARTER ALONE. I'VE MET WITH MOST OF THE STAKEHOLDERS IN THIS. LET ME JUST QUICKLY SAY HERE, I'M GOING TO DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER IN THE COMING DAYS HERE TO KEEP PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES PARTICULARLY FOR PEOPLE WHO GOT INTO THESE BAD MORTGAGES. THESE TEASER RATES WITH INDEX RATES THEY COULDN'T MEET THAT HAVE BEEN RESET NOW, TO SEE TO IT THEY CAN STAY IN THEIR PROPERTIES. AND A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN, AND I'M DETERMINED TO MAKE SURE THAT HAPPENS. SECONDLY, WE NEED TO GO BACK AND MAKE SURE THIS PROBLEM DOESN'T SPREAD EVEN FURTHER. AND THAT IS SOMETHING WE'RE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW WITH THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK AND OTHERS. YOU HAVE BROKERS OUT THERE, FRANKLY, WHO WERE PRETENDING THEY WERE THE FINANCIAL ADVISORS OF BORROWS, LURING THEM INTO ARRANGEMENTS THEY COULD NEVER AFFORD TO KEEP. IT WAS REALLY DESPICABLE WHAT THEY DID. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK, WHICH DID HAVE THE AUTHORITY FOR THE LAST THIRTEEN YEARS, BY THE WAY, HAD NEVER ISSUED REGULATIONS IN THIS AREA TO DEAL WITH DECEPTIVE AND FRAUDULENT PRACTICES, AND I'M GOING TO SHUT THAT DOWN ENTIRELY. THE CREDIT RATING AGENCIES ARE OUR THIRD PROBLEM HERE. WHY WERE THEY BRANDING SOME OF THESE PACKAGED MORTGAGES AS TRIPLE A WHEN IN FACT THEY WEREN'T AND DECEIVING THOSE WHO WERE PURCHASING THEM, WHO ARE NOW RELUCTANT MAYBE TO BUY SOME OF THESE. SO THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PIECES OF THIS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED, BUT IT IS SPREADING INTO THE PRIME MARKET AS WELL, SO IT IS A LARGE PROBLEM.

Yepsen: IS THIS THE KIND OF THING THAT CAN THROW THE ECONOMY INTO A RECESSION? I MEAN --

Dodd: IT COULD. YES, IT COULD. AND I SAY THAT MOST RELUCTANTLY, BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU DON'T WANT TO BECOME A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHET IN THESE AREAS HERE. BUT HOUSING IS SO CRITICAL TO OUR COUNTRY. WE TALKED ABOUT THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY, HOW IMPORTANT THAT IS, THE FARM COMMUNITY. HOUSING, WHEN YOU THINK OF ALL THE ISSUES THAT ARE AFFECTED BY IT, THE FURNISHINGS, THE JOBS THAT ARE CREATED, THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AND TRADES THAT ARE INVOLVED IN THAT ISSUE. SO THIS IS A HUGE MATTER FOR US, AND WE NEED TO GET OUR ARMS AROUND IT QUICKLY. LIQUIDITY -- I DON'T WANT TO BORE YOU WITH A LOT OF DETAILS IN THE WEEDS, EXCEPT TO TELL YOU HERE THAT IN ADDITION TO BEING A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, I'M SPENDING A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF TIME ON THIS ISSUE OF DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO NOT ONLY SET THE PROBLEM RIGHT FOR THOSE WHO ARE FACING THE REAL PROBLEMS IMMEDIATELY, MAKING SURE IT DOESN'T GROW WORSE, AND THEN PROVIDING WHATEVER LEADERSHIP WE CAN TO GET THE FEDERAL RESERVE IN THE WHITE HOUSE TO DEAL WITH THE LARGER QUESTIONS THAT ONLY THEY CAN MANAGE.

Glover: WELL, LET'S GET BACK TO THAT. AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BANKING COMMITTEE, YOU'VE OUTLINED THE PROBLEM PRETTY WELL. WHAT STEPS CAN CONGRESS TAKE TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM, AND AT WHAT POINT DO YOU GO IN AND BAIL OUT A BUNCH OF LENDERS WHO MADE BAD DECISIONS, MAYBE EVEN FRAUDULENT DECISIONS?

Dodd: I DON'T BELIEVE IN DOING THAT. AND THERE ARE THREE GROUPS OF PEOPLE I WOULD SAY THAT WERE THE BORROWERS HERE. THE FIRST GROUP I'VE ALREADY TALKED TALKED ABOUT IT, THOSE PEOPLE WHO GOT LURED INTO BAD DEALS HERE, SO THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN INTO IT. BUT THEY COULD AFFORD TO STAY IN THEIR HOMES, MICHAEL, THEY COULD MAKE IT. YOU GET A WORKOUT, SO WE'RE DOING A LOT OF THAT ALREADY HERE, TO MAKE SURE THEY CAN STAY IN THEIR PLACES. YOU HAVE SPECULATORS -- IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE FOUR STATES, THE LARGEST FORECLOSURES IN THE FOUR STATES ARE CALIFORNIA, ARIZONA, NEVADA, AND FLORIDA. AT LEAST IN SEVERAL OF THOSE STATES, I THINK A LOT PEOPLE WENT OUT AND THOUGHT THIS WAS A GREAT WAY TO MAKE MONEY, THE PROPERTY VALUES KEPT GOING UP, WHY NOT TAKE A CHANCE, MORTGAGES, YOU COULD GET THEM FOR ZERO INTEREST ALMOST TO GET IN TO BUY A CONDO, BUY A PLACE, AND JUST FLIP IT THE FOLLOWING YEAR AND MAYBE PICK UP A HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. I FEEL BADLY FOR THEM BUT THE SPECULATOR COMMUNITY, I DON'T THINK IT'S MY RESPONSIBILITY OR OURS. YOU'VE MADE A CHOICE HERE. IT DIDN'T WORK OUT. SO I'M LESS CONCERNED ABOUT THAT, EXCEPT FROM A BROADER ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE. AND THEN THERE ARE THOSE WHO, FRANKLY, PROBABLY SHOULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN INTO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. NEVER WERE ABLE TO AFFORD THIS, BUT GOT LURED INTO THESE DEALS. THAT'S A SPECIAL CATEGORY. I DON'T KNOW QUITE HOW TO DEAL WITH IT, OR EVEN HOW MANY THERE ARE, MIKE, IN THAT CATEGORY -- THAT FALL INTO THAT LAST CATEGORY. BUT WE PROBABLY NEED TO DO SOMETHING FOR THOSE PEOPLE TO HELP THEM OUT OUT, THAT IS TO AVOID BANKRUPTCY AND OTHER MATTERS HERE THAT COULD REALLY PUT THEM BEHIND THE EIGHT BALL FOR YEARS TO COME.

Yepsen: SENATOR, ONE OF THE THINGS WE ALWAYS DO ON THIS PROGRAM IS TALK POLITICS.

Dodd: I'M SURPRISED.

Yepsen: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT YOUR CAMPAIGN.

Dodd: -- TALKING POLITICS HERE IN IOWA.

Yepsen: YOU WORKED THIS STATE VERY HARD. VERY COMPETENT STAFF, TALKING TO ALL THE KINDS OF RIGHT CONSTITUENCY GROUPS. YET THE POLLS CONSISTENTLY SHOW YOU AT ONE PERCENT OR LESS. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

Dodd: WHAT WE'RE DOING HERE -- AND I -- AND I'M PREACHING TO THE CHOIR TALKING TO THREE PEOPLE HERE WHO KNOW MORE ABOUT IOWA CAUCUSES AND POLITICS THAN I'LL EVER KNOW. BUT HISTORY OUGHT TO BE AT LEAST SOME VALUE HERE. AND OVER THE YEARS, IOWANS TAKE THIS VERY SERIOUSLY. THEY'RE SLOW TO DECIDE, I'VE LEARNED. THEY TAKE THEIR TIME. THEY'RE PATIENT ABOUT IT. IT'S A GOOD QUESTION TO ASK ME, AND I'M SATISFIED THAT MY ANSWER IS WE'VE BEEN DOING ALL THE RIGHT THINGS. WE HAVE SOME ELEVEN OFFICES OPEN HERE. I'VE BEEN TO A LOT OF THEM IN THE LAST YEAR, AS YOU KNOW, DAVID, AND WILL BE COMING BACK A LOT, AND PEOPLE HAVE BEEN HAVING A GOOD RESPONSE, I THINK, TO US. BUT ALSO THE QUESTION IS WHY AREN'T THESE SO-CALLED FRONT-RUNNERS DOING BETTER AFTER A YEAR OF UNPRECEDENTED PUBLICITY, ALMOST INCUMBENCY STATUS. WE'VE NOW MADE CONTACTS WITH SOME 65- TO 70,000 LIKELY CAUCUS ATTENDEES IN IN THIS STATE OVER THE LAST FIVE OR SIX WEEKS. AND OVER 80 PERCENT OF THOSE RESPONDENTS TELL US THEY'RE UNDECIDED, THEY'RE STILL LOOKING -- JOHN KERRY LIKES TO REMIND ME THAT HE WAS 27 POINTS BEHIND HOWARD DEAN IN SEPTEMBER OF 2003. HE WAS AT ABOUT 3 PERCENT OR 2 PERCENT IN THE POLLS. ON DECEMBER 23, 2003, HE WAS AT 4 PERCENT IN THE POLLS, TWO POINTS BEHIND AL SHARPTON AND 19 POINTS BEHIND HOWARD DEAN, AND FOUR WEEKS LATER BECAME THE NOMINEE OF THE PARTY. SO IOWANS TAKE THEIR TIME. YOU NEED TO BE HERE. YOU NEED TO DO IT THE IOWA WAY, IN MY VIEW. SO I'M STILL VERY CONFIDENT THAT AS WE GO THROUGH THE FALL WEEKS HERE, I'LL DO VERY WELL.

Glover: PUT YOURSELF IN THE POSITION OF PROGNOSTICATOR. LET'S LOOK AT THAT CAUCUS NIGHT AT SOME THIS WINTER, LET'S NOT GUESS ABOUT THAT.

Dodd: HOPEFULLY NOT NEXT WEEK.

Glover: LET'S DON'T GO THERE. WHAT DO YOU NEED OUT OF IOWA? IS IT FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD? I MEAN WE'VE ASKED THIS QUESTION OF JOE BIDEN, AND HE SAYS HE NEEDS FIRST, SECOND, OR AN INDISTINGUISHABLE THIRD. WHAT DOES --

Dodd: WELL, OBVIOUSLY THOSE WOULD BE GOOD NUMBERS IF YOU FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY. IT'S -- YOU HAVE TO EXCEED EXPECTATIONS, WHICH IS NOT TERRIBLY DIFFICULT IN MY CASE, GIVEN THE NUMBERS THAT DAVID JUST MENTIONED TO YOU. SO I'LL SET A STANDARD HERE THAT I THINK I CAN MEET PRESS EASILY. BUT OBVIOUSLY YOU'VE GOT TO DO BETTER THAN THAT. AND, AGAIN, WHAT'S THE TURNOUT GOING TO BE AND SO FORTH. AGAIN, I THINK THE SO-CALLED LEADING CANDIDATES HAVE A HIGHER BAR TO CROSS OVER BECAUSE THEY'VE ALL SET THEMSELVES UP AS EITHER WINNING -- IF THEY DON'T WIN IN IOWA -- IN FACT, RECENTLY WE HEARD THE SPOUSE OF ONE CANDIDATE SAY, 'IF WE DON'T WIN IN IOWA, THE RACE IS OVER WITH.' AND THEN CERTAINLY JOHN EDWARDS HAS PUT HIMSELF I THINK IN THAT POSITION, AND I PRESUME MRS. CLINTON HAS AS WELL. SO THEY'VE SET A VERY HIGH STANDARD, SO I THINK COMING IN ANYWHERE IN THAT TOP THREE HERE, GIVEN WHERE WE ARE IN THIS RACE, WOULD BE A PRETTY BIG STORY ON CAUCUS NIGHT.

Yepsen: I WANT TO TURN TO YOU AS A CANDIDATE. SOMETHING ELSE WE LIKE TO DO ON THIS PROGRAM IS GIVE CANDIDATES JUST A CHANCE TO HAVE THEIR SAY, SO GIVE THE CAUCUS GOER YOUR COMMERCIAL. WHY CHRIS DODD?

Dodd: WELL, I THINK THERE ARE FOUR QUALITIES PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR OR SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR IN THE NEXT PRESIDENT: PRESIDENTIAL TEMPERAMENT, DO YOU HAVE A SENSE OF OPTIMISM AND CONFIDENCE; ARE YOU GOING TO APPEAL TO THE BETTER INSTINCTS IN THE NATION OR APPEAL TO THEIR WORST INSTINCTS, THEIR FEAR; DO YOU HAVE BOLD IDEAS; DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE CAMPAIGNS ARE NOT JUST ABOUT SURVIVING BUT GIVING SOMEONE AN IDEA OF WHERE YOU WANT TO TAKE THE COUNTRY, WITH IDEAS THAT WILL ATTRACT NOT ONLY PEOPLE HERE BUT AROUND THE WORLD WHO COUNT US TO LEAD. THIRDLY, THEY WANT TO KNOW IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE. THEY WANT TO HEAR THAT YOU'VE GOT A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING AND IDEA OF THE PROBLEMS WE FACE BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD. AND LASTLY, AND MAYBE MOST IMPORTANTLY, IS NOT JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO, BUT DEMONSTRATE TO ME THAT YOU KNOW HOW YOU'RE GOING TO DO THIS. THIS IS IS A SERIOUS, SERIOUS JOB. NO MORE SERIOUS ONE IN THE WORLD THAN TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. THIS IS NOT FOR ON-THE-JOB TRAINING. WE NEED PEOPLE OF QUALITY WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH A LOT OF THIS. IN 26 YEARS ON EVERY MAJOR DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY ISSUE, I'VE BEEN INVOLVED. I BRING A STRENGTH OF ABILITY TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER. ANY DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN THAT I'VE SERVED IN THE SENATE WILL TELL YOU THAT ABOUT ME, WHETHER IT'S DRAFTING THE MEDICAL LEAVE ACT, CHILD CARE LEGISLATION, WORKING WITH PHIL GRAHAM ON FINANCIAL SERVICES REFORM OR JESSE HELMS ON RATIFYING THE GENOCIDE CONVENTION. IN CASE AFTER CASE AFTER CASE, I'VE BEEN ABLE TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER THAT NORMALLY DON'T GET ALONG POLITICALLY. I THINK THE COUNTRY WANTS THAT KIND OF LEADERSHIP. AN AWFUL LOT IS AT STAKE HERE. HUGE ISSUES HERE AT HOME. I THINK MOST PEOPLE THINK WE'RE LESS SAFE, LESS SECURE. THEY WANT TO SEE THE COUNTRY GET BACK ON ITS FEET AT HOME AND ABROAD. I OFFER THAT KIND OF BACKGROUND EXPERIENCE, TEMPERAMENT TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT.

Yepsen: WHO IS -- AND WHO IS CHRIS DODD?

Dodd: WELL, CHRIS DODD IS A PERSON WHO WAS RAISED IN A LARGE CATHOLIC FAMILY, WHOSE FAMILY WAS COMMITTED TO PUBLIC SERVICE. MY FATHER WAS A PROSECUTOR AT NURIMBURG, SERVED IN PUBLIC LIFE. I COME FROM A FAMILY OF TEACHERS. MY BROTHER AND SISTER TAUGHT FOR 40 YEARS APIECE. MY FATHER'S THREE SISTERS DID. I CARE DEEPLY ABOUT MY COUNTRY. I SERVED IN THE PEACE CORPS. I SERVED IN THE MILITARY. I THINK THE ONLY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE TO DO SO IN THE MILITARY HERE. SO I COME TO THIS THROUGH AN EXPERIENCE AND BACKGROUND THAT IS COMMITTED TO GETTING THIS COUNTRY MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. I'VE BEEN AN AGENT OF CHANGE IN PUBLIC LIFE AS WELL. AND I DIDN'T PLAN ON DOING THIS ALL MY LIFE. I'VE BEEN VERY HAPPY TO SERVE IN THE SENATE, BUT AS A FATHER OF A SIX YEAR OLD AND TWO YEAR OLD WHO VERY MUCH ARE GOING TO LIVE IN THIS 21ST CENTURY, I WANT THEM TO GROW UP IN A COUNTRY THAT IS FULL OF HOPE. AND I'M VERY WORRIED THAT TOO MANY OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS THINK AMERICA'S BEST DAYS ARE BEHIND IT. AND I WANT TO BELIEVE AS MOST AMERICANS DO THEY CAN BE IN FRONT OF US. AND I DECIDED THAT THE ONE OFFICE THAT LET'S YOU REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN ALL OF THAT IS THE OVAL OFFICE OF THE WHITE HOUSE.

Glover: LET'S LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR AGAIN. IF YOU LOOK IT AT THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM, PRESIDENT BUSH'S NUMBERS ARE PRETTY BAD. IF YOU HANG AROUND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS, YOU FEEL A CERTAIN SENSE OF EXCITEMENT THAT YOU DON'T FEEL AROUND A LOT OF REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS. HOW GOOD A YEAR IS 2008 GOING TO BE FOR DEMOCRATS?

Dodd: ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU THAT IT'S A SLAM DUNK, MIKE, DOESN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS BUSINESS OF PUBLIC LIFE AND POLITICS. I THINK IT WILL BE A CLOSE ELECTION YEAR.

Glover: DESPITE ALL THOSE SIGNS?

Dodd: WELL, YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN AROUND LONG ENOUGH. I'VE HAD EIGHT SUCCESSFUL ELECTIONS IN MY LIFE. I KNOW HOW TO WIN A CAMPAIGN. I WAS THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THIS PARTY DURING A TIME WHEN BILL CLINTON ASKED ME TO DO IT WHEN HE WAS ABOUT 30-35 PERCENT IN POLLS IN JANUARY OF 1995. WENT ON TO WIN THAT RACE IN 1996. SO I KNOW HOW TO DO THIS. BUT I REMEMBER REPUBLICANS GLEEFULLY AFTER THE '94 ELECTION RUBBING THEIR HANDS TOGETHER, HAVING TAKEN BACK BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS AND A PRESIDENT THAT WAS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED AS A RESULT OF THOSE EVENTS, ASSUMING THAT THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE AN EASY YEAR IN 1996, AND WE PROVED OTHERWISE HERE. I DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POLITICAL ABILITIES OF THE OPPOSITION OR WHAT THEY'RE LIKELY TO DO OR SAY IN THE CAMPAIGN. SO ANYONE WHO ASSUMES THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE JUST A CAKE WALK I THINK IS MISTAKEN. ALL THE MORE REASON WHY ELECTABILITY IS IMPORTANT HERE. TO MAKE THE ASSUMPTION THAT TOO MANY DO THAT NO MATTER WHO WE NOMINATE WILL BE ELECTED I THINK IS A FALSE ASSUMPTION AND A DANGEROUS ONE.

Glover: WELL, LET'S LOOK AT SOME OF YOUR LEADING OPPONENTS AND DEAL WITH JUST THAT QUESTION. A LOT OF POLLS SHOW SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON ATOP THE FIELD OF DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES, BUT THOSE SAME POLLS SHOW HER WITH A PRETTY HIGH NEGATIVE RATE WITH A LOT OF DEMOCRATS HAVING QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER SHE CAN WIN THE GENERAL ELECTION. IN YOUR VIEW, CAN HILLARY CLINTON WIN THE GENERAL ELECTION?

Dodd: I'M SURE SHE PROBABLY CAN, BUT I THINK THE QUESTION IS LEGITIMATE, NOT BECAUSE SHE HAS CREATED IT AS SUCH BUT I THINK PEOPLE WANT TO MOVE ON. I THINK THEY'RE -- THE MELODRAMA AND ALL WE NEED TO GET BEHIND US IN A SENSE, AND THERE'S SOME OF THAT I THINK INVOLVED IN THIS. THAT'S A REALITY. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS. I'M NOT SAYING ANYTHING EVERYONE'S NOT AWARE OF. NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IT, BUT THE REALITY IS HERE THE CONTINUING FIGHT. WE WERE AT DRAKE UNIVERSITY A FEW WEEKS AGO AT ONE OF THE DEBATES, AND I REMEMBER MY FRIEND FROM NEW YORK SAYING, 'I KNOW HOW TO TAKE ON THESE PEOPLE. I'VE FOUGHT THEM BEFORE. I'M FIGHTING THEM NOW. I'LL FIGHT THEM AGAIN.' FRANKLY, THE COUNTRY IS TIRED OF FIGHTING. WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT SUCCEEDING AND PUTTING BEHIND THE BICKERING. EVERYONE IS GOING TO FIGHT HARD. BUT ISN'T IT TIME THE COUNTRY CAME TOGETHER AND WE STARTED SOLVING SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS. IF IT'S JUST ABOUT A FIGHT, NEVER-ENDING FIGHT, THE COUNTRY IS SO TURNED OFF TO THAT. THEY WANT LEADERSHIP THAT WILL BRIDGE THOSE DIVIDES AND BRING US TOGETHER AS A PEOPLE. AND THEY'RE LOOKING FOR CANDIDATES THAT CAN DO THAT.

Glover: IS THERE A CLINTON FATIGUE FACTOR?

Dodd: WELL, I THINK THERE MAY BE. IF THIS IS ALL ABOUT A FIGHT, IF WHAT IT MEANS IS JUST A CONTINUING SAGA OF A FIGHT, AN ONGOING FIGHT, WHICH I THINK MANY PEOPLE FEEL MAY BE THE CASE, THEN I THINK THAT POSES SOME DIFFICULTIES FOR US, BOTH IN THE ELECTION AND IN SERVING. AND I SAY THAT NOT BECAUSE I WISH IT TO BE SO BUT BECAUSE IT IS SO.

Yepsen: SENATOR, WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER DEMOCRATIC FRONT-RUNNER, BARACK OBAMA? CAN HE GET ELECTED?

Dodd: WELL, HE COULD. AGAIN -- YOU KNOW, ANYBODY CAN POSSIBLY GET ELECTED. I'M NOT GOING TO SAY THEY CAN'T BE ELECTED, OBVIOUSLY, AND IF THEY TURN OUT TO BE THE NOMINEE, I'LL BE DOING WHAT I CAN TO HELP IN THAT REGARD. BUT AGAIN, I COME BACK -- AND I SAY THIS RESPECTFULLY. BUT HAVING SERVED 24 MONTHS IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN 36 MONTHS COME NOVEMBER OF 2008, YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR ABOUT THAT. WE HAVE MAJOR SERIOUS ISSUES AROUND THE WORLD. WHERE ABOUT AS ISOLATED A COUNTRY AS WE'VE BEEN IN OUR LIFETIME IN MANY WAYS HERE. AND THIS IS NOT ABOUT JUST RHETORIC AND APPEALING TO PEOPLE. KNOWING HOW TO DO THIS AND BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER IS CRITICAL, AND THAT IS GOING TO BE AN ISSUE THAT WILL BE RAISED AND I THINK IT'S A LEGITIMATE ONE.

Glover: ONE MORE CANDIDATE I'D LIKE YOU TO KICK OFF. THE OTHER LEADING CANDIDATE CITED IN MOST POLLS IS FORMER SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS. HE RAN IN 2004. HE WAS THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE IN 2004. HAS HIS DAY COME AND GONE?

Dodd: WELL, AGAIN, I WOULDN'T SAY THAT EITHER. WE'RE PREDICTING WINNERS AND LOSERS.

Glover: YOU'RE A PRETTY GOOD POLITICIAN.

Dodd: I KNOW. I'M JUST GIVING YOU MY ASSESSMENT OF THESE THINGS. AGAIN, I'M NOT MAKING NEWS FOR YOU HERE. THERE'S ARE NOT A VOTER IN IOWA WHO FOLLOWS THIS THAT DOESN'T HAVE THE SAME CONCERNS, BEING REFLECTIVE OF THE SURVEYS BEING. AND AGAIN, JOHN I THINK IS A TALENTED INDIVIDUAL. BUT AGAIN I THINK IT REQUIRES, I MUST SAY. THIS IS A SERIOUS JOB, MORE THAN JUST SIX YEARS IN PUBLIC LIFE.

Yepsen: SENATOR, WE ONLY HAVE A COUPLE MINUTES LEFT AND YOU DID JUST MENTION A BIG SERIOUS ISSUE. THE BIGGEST ONE IS IRAQ.

Dodd: YOU BET.

Yepsen: IN A COUPLE MINUTES, WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IRAQ?

Dodd: WELL, I THINK SOMETHING HAPPENED HERE A FEW NIGHTS AGO THAT IS PIVOTAL TO ME. I WAS STUNNED, LITERALLY STUNNED AS STANDING ON THAT STAGE AT DARTMOUTH COLLEGE, WHEN THE QUESTION WAS ASKED: WILL YOU MAKE A COMMITMENT THAT ON THE END OF YOUR FIRST TERM IN 2013, THAT U.S. FORCES AS PRESIDENT WOULD BE OUT OF IRAQ? AND I THINK I WAS THE ONLY CANDIDATE, MAYBE JOE BIDEN, WHO SAID ABSOLUTELY. IT WAS BREATHTAKING TO ME THAT THE SO-CALLED THREE LEADING CANDIDATES, WOULD NOT MAKE THAT COMMITMENT. THAT'S SIX YEARS FROM TODAY. THAT ONE ISSUE THAT GAVE US THE MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE LAST YEAR WAS IRAQ. IT'S THE DOMINANT ISSUE IN THE COUNTRY. WE'RE SPENDING A FORTUNE, $10 BILLION A MONTH. RECONCILIATION IS NO CLOSER TODAY. I THINK FOR ANYBODY OUT THERE WONDERING WHETHER OR NOT DEMOCRATS GET THIS AT ALL OUR NOT -- AND I'VE BEEN LEADING ON THIS ISSUE OVER THE LAST NUMBER OF MONTHS TRYING TO ADDRESS THE FUNDING ISSUE HERE. TO STAND UP AND SAY SIX YEARS FROM NOW I WILL NOT MAKE THE COMMITMENT THAT U.S. FORCES WILL BE OUT OF IRAQ I FOUND BREATHTAKING.

Yepsen: SO WHAT DOES PRESIDENT CHRISTOPHER DODD GET US OUT OF IRAQ?

Dodd: WELL, I BEGIN WITH WITHDRAWING THE TROOPS. IT'S NOT WORKING, DAVID. IT'S JUST NOT WORKING. AND THAT'S NOT MY CONCLUSION. THAT'S THE CONCLUSION OF EVERY REASONABLE PERSON THAT'S BEEN THERE. 88 PERCENT OF OUR ARMY TODAY IS NOT COMBAT READY. WE'RE ISOLATED IN THE WORLD. EVERY OTHER ISSUE YOU BRING UP IN FOREIGN POLICY IS SEEN THROUGH THE PRISM OF IRAQ.

Borg: BUT THEN THE QUESTION IS WHAT DO YOU LEAVE BEHIND. YOUR SOLUTION IS WITHDRAW THE TROOPS AND --

Dodd: YOU STAY IN THE SENSE OF UTILIZING ALL OF THE OTHER RICH TOOLS IN YOUR ARSENAL. THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. WE'RE NOT JUST A MILITARY POWER. WE'RE AN ECONOMIC POWER. WE'RE A DIPLOMATIC POWER. WE'RE A POLITICAL POWER. WE'VE GOT MASSIVE BASES AND FACILITIES IN KUWAIT. WE NEED A PRESENCE IN AFGHANISTAN. YOU'VE GOT DIPLOMACY TO USE. WE'RE NOT JUST LEAVING THE REGION. I'M JUST SAYING OUR MILITARY PRESENCE IS STIRRING THAT COUNTRY INTO A PETRI DISH OF JIHADISTS HERE. I WAS WITH A YOUNG MAN FROM CONNECTICUT THE OTHER DAY AT WALTER REID HOSPITAL. HE'D LOST HIS EYE. LET ME JUST TELL YOU WHAT HE SAID TO ME, WHEN I SAID HOW IS THIS GOING. HE'D GO BACK THIS AFTERNOON, BY THE WAY, TO BE WITH HIS BUDDIES AND HIS FRIENDS THERE. HE SAID, SENATOR, WE SPENT A MONTH AND A HALF TO CLEAN OUT AN AREA, AND AN HOUR AND A HALF AFTER WE LEAVE, IT'S RIGHT BACK WHERE IT WAS. HE SAID THE CIVILIAN POPULATION WILL NOT TELL US WHERE THE AMMO DUMPS ARE, WHERE IEDs ARE HERE. NINETY PERCENT OF THE SUNNIS THINK IT'S ALL RIGHT TO KILL AMERICANS. I KNOW HOW YOU JUSTIFY A POLICY OR A TACTIC -- THE ISSUE FOR THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT IS SAFETY AND SECURITY OF OUR COUNTRY. THAT'S YOUR PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY HERE. WE'RE NOT SAFE. WE'RE NOT SECURE. WE'RE MORE ISOLATED. WE'RE MORE VULNERABLE AS THIS POLICY. AND FOR A POTENTIAL DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT THE OTHER NIGHT TO STAND BEFORE A NATIONAL AUDIENCE AND SAY SIX YEARS FROM NOW ON A FAILED POLICY I WILL NOT MAKE THE COMMITMENT THAT U.S. FORCES WILL BE OUT OF THERE I FOUND RATHER STUNNING.

Glover: WELL, WHAT KIND OF A RISK ARE DEMOCRATS RUNNING? MOST PEOPLE SAY THEY WON THE 2006 ELECTION BECAUSE OF THE DISSATISFACTION WITH IRAQ, YET YOU'VE DONE NOTHING ABOUT IT.

Dodd: THAT'S A COMPLAINT THAT I HEAR ALL THE TIME AS WELL. AND THE ONE POWER THAT THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES IS THE POWER OF THE PURSE, NOT THE POWER TO SET DEADLINES AND DECIDE WHAT TROOP LEVELS OUGHT TO BE FROM MONTH TO MONTH. THAT'S THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF'S JOB. BUT THE FRAMERS OF OUR CONSTITUTION SAID, YOU CONGRESSMEN AND -WOMEN, YOU'VE GOT THE POWER OF THE PURSE. IF YOU'RE NOT WILLING TO STAND UP AND FIGHT TO CUT OFF THE FUNDING, THEN THIS IS ALL JUST TALK, IN MY VIEW. THAT'S WHY I'VE BEEN LEADING ON THAT EFFORT TO DO THAT EXACTLY HERE. IT'S PAINFUL. WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET 51 VOTES IMMEDIATELY, BUT IF YOU DON'T DO THAT, THIS POLICY WILL NOT CHANGE. I DON'T WANT TO WAIT TILL JANUARY OF 2009. I THINK WE OUGHT TO BE LEADING ON THIS ISSUE NOW. THERE ARE THREE OF US -- OR FOUR OF US, RATHER, IN THE SENATE TODAY THAT OUGHT TO BE LEADING ON THIS ISSUE, AND WE'RE NOT. IN MY VIEW, THE OTHERS ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH TO LEAD.

Borg: I HAVE TO LEAD US OUT OF THIS PROGRAM. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US TODAY.

Dodd: THANK YOU.

Borg: AND WE HOPE THAT YOU'LL BE WATCHING FOR OUR NEXT EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS' NEXT WEEK, USUAL AIRTIMES: 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT; 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. HIGH >>

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Tags: campaign 2008 Chris Dodd Democrats Iowa politics presidential candidates