Saturday, September 01, 2007

Chris Dodd/IAFF Event Summary

Here is a summary of the Chris Dodd/IAFF rally at Manchester's Station 7. The summary was submitted by Luke Vargas of

At a rally Friday morning in Manchester, Senator Dodd articulated what his recent endorsement by the IAFF's truly signifies by underscoring the amount of respect and heroism we associate with firefighters. If I didn't have access to the news, I'm confident I would trust a firefighter to tell me who the best candidate was. It's that level of deference to the firefighter's profession that makes the IAFF endorsement so important for Dodd.

In most cases, whenever a campaigning politician mentions or his or her legislative accomplishments or has their career summarized by someone else, audiences don't often get too excited. When Chris Dodd's resume of protecting firefighters in his 26 years in the Senate was explained by Harold Schaitberger the audience notably began nodding in anticipation and approval before the words "SAFER Act" and "FIRE Act" were mentioned. So little is communicated from the television screen; the emotions of a crowd are only palpable when you're there in person. Being surrounded by the mass of firefighters drove home the level of sincere agreement and respect for Dodd's bills and career that the audience felt.

After seeing Dodd on three prior occasions, I agreed with those who were critical of his often-bureaucratic manner of speech, but Dodd is markedly new man now. With a fresh haircut, a raspy voice (no doubt from two consecutive days of IAFF rallies), and a throng of cheering supporters, I can now visualize a different Chris Dodd. Where I previously saw little more than a Washington politician--a kind one, but far from charismatic--I now see Dodd as a candidate capable of both succeeding in his legislative role, but also someone with the spark to lead and inspire the people who hear him.