With Iowa poll numbers hovering around 2 percent, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., rolled out ’60s rocker Paul Simon to sing the senator’s praises to audiences across the state last weekend.
The former half of the group Simon and Garfunkel joined Dodd’s weeklong ‘River to River’ bus tour for its final two days on the road Friday and Saturday. According to an introduction by Simon, the singer and senator met nearly 20 years ago in Czechoslovakia as members of a U.S. envoy overseeing the country’s first free elections.
Watching the New Hampshire Democratic candidates’ debate, Simon said he found himself talking to his television with “mounting frustration” over other candidate’s responses. He said Dodd is one of the few politicians with the “insight and wisdom” to answer foreign policy and health care questions, but lamented Dodd wasn’t given a greater opportunity to speak.
Simon poked fun at Dodd’s fund raising — his $3.25 million only 1/10th of Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s amount raised last quarter. “The reason that I’m here for Chris is really simple,” Simon said. “He simply outbid the other candidates. I’m being paid $1.7 million for this week.”
While performing the song “Mrs. Robinson” at a rally, Simon tailored the lyrics to fit the senator’s campaign. Simon began one verse with “Going to the candidate’s debate/Laugh about it, shout about it/When you’ve got to choose,” instead of, “Every way you look at it you lose.”
He also altered the line, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio,” inserting Red Sox great Ted Williams instead to accommodate Dodd, an avid Boston fan.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail, the Associated Press reported Dodd showed off his fluency in Spanish. Dodd, who learned the language from his time serving in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, quipped in Spanish, “I’m the only gringo in the Senate” who speaks the language.
As for Dodd’s better half, The Hartford Courant profiled his wife Jackie Clegg on Sunday. The Courant recounted how the pair met at a charity ski event where Clegg, a congressional aid at the time, was given the task of ushering the novice Dodd down the mountain alive. The article explained, Clegg’s “calm, even serene appearance masks a complex woman who can be both soft and hard-edged, sometimes both at once.”
Dodd plans to address the American Federation of Teachers Thursday and then head to Nevada to oversee the opening of his campaign office there. After several Nevada events, the Dodd campaign then intends to travel to Utah on Saturday.