Guest Author - Tracey-Kay Caldwell
Presidential candidate Senator Chris Dodd gives us a backstage pass to his March 12, 2007 appearance on Comedy Central’s, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His website takes us behind the scenes, beginning with his entering the non-descript door, with a 906 awning, leading to backstage. We get to see his 4 pm preparation for the show with communications director Beneva Schulte. There is a photo of his visit with Jon Stewart in the green room where they discussed their children.
The Daily Show has become the way for politicians to reach younger audiences. Stewart began by asking him what he thought of the Democrats canceling the debates that were to be sponsored by Fox News. Dodd said he would have debated. He jokingly said he was there to announce that----he was here tonight. Stewart then clued his audience in that Dodd was a candidate for president. When asked for his advice for the other candidates, Dodd suggested they take a long vacation. Stewart asked him how he felt about the fact the wasn’t getting as much attention as the other candidates, Dodd told Stewart he was counting on the daily show to bring him the needed fame.
Stewart asked what made Dodd decide to run. He said his young daughters were part of the decision. He said he was worried about their future, what kind of world they would grow up in, and he wanted to get out and talk about that future. He said there is more at stake now than ever before in his lifetime, both in terms of here and abroad. Stewart said he shared his concern but he was tackling the issue in a different way, he was building a bunker. Stewart said “I have a feeling when the day comes I am not going to knocking on your door, your be knocking on mine.”
Stewart asked about the corruption in Washington and if it was possible for an insider to fix the problem. Dodd said he brought twenty-six years of experience in the Senate bring people together to get things done. He offers proven ability. Stewart said that Dodd was offering competence and legislative insight and he didn’t think people would buy it. Stewart pointed out that Dodd and Governor Richards were both “resume” candidates and Americans don’t elect resume candidates. On paper you look good, people should look and say I’d bet that guy would be a good president. Dodd said people don’t want to be told by the media that the election is over with, they want to hear what the candidates have to say. Dodd compared running right now to running on American Idol. He said that if we could get back on the ground and have some debates they could get know people. Stewart suggested that if some risqué photos surfaced of Senator Dodd, he might stay in the race a little longer. Dodd said he was hopeful this would not be a divisive campaign, that he knew the other candidates and they were good people. Stewart finished the interview by making Dodd promise to come back when he dropped out.