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At Least Mike Gravel Doesn't Have Anything More Important He Should Be Doing

There's a piece in today's WaPo business section poitning to one of the concrete costs of the widespread compulsion among U.S. Senators to run for president. It seems that, while Chris Dodd is out stumping, the Senate Banking Committee, of which he is chairman, is going nowhere fast. Despite there being plenty of issues it could be addressing--most notably the fallout from the current housing crunch--Dodd's committee is lagging far behind its House counterpart in both hearings held and legislation passed. (As a point of comparison, the Post notes that, under Dodd, Banking has conducted only 32 hearings, compared with the 81 held by Barney Frank's Financial Services Committee.)

Of course, the House and Senate are different creatures. And I'm sure Dodd is deeply concerned about the issues before his committee. Still, with the Connecticut senator hovering at around 1 percent in presidential polls--and having vanishingly little impact on the debate--one can't help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, it's time for the man to refocus his energies on his day job. 

--Michelle Cottle