Dodd's retirement is good and bad news -- but surprisingly, mostly bad.
The good news is that one of the most corrupt (more importantly, see here) and unabashedly liberal senators of the last 30 years is on his way out the door. By announcing his retirement, Dodd has done a service to the Senate, his party and his country.
The bad news is that his open seat in Connecticut is now, at best, a toss-up. Former GOP Rep. Rob Simmons was poised to throttle Dodd by what was likely a double-digit margin in the November election. Instead, Simmons will have to face Connecticut Attorney General Dick Blumenthal, who despite the Dems' woes nationwide, remains an enormously popular figure. Remember -- Connecticut is a a state so heavily blue that it nearly elected Ned Lamont in 2006.
The other bad news is that any regulatory reform kick-started by Dodd -- which was likely begun to make up for his shameful conduct in the Countrywide and AIG affairs -- will probably stall and die out. Dodd's efforts were notable -- and admirable -- in that he paired up one Republican and one Democrat on his Senate Banking Committee to study solutions to a host of regulatory issues.
The other notable retirement announcement is Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. Dorgan reportedly faced a reasonably easy road to his fourth Senate term, but the consensus this morning is that Republican Gov. John Hoeven -- who to this point was only mulling a run and had not officially announced that he would challenge Dorgan -- will coast to an easy victory.
Obviously, Republicans have a lot to look forward to on election night.