Chris Dodd's great-great-great-great-aunt hated corn.
Senator now "dead in the water" in Iowa
SIOUX CITY (BP) - The longshot campaign of Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd took a big hit in the Hawkeye State today, when our crack reporting staff found a long-forgotten note form his great-great-great-great-aunt acknowledging a dislike of corn.
"Mama never usually cooks it right," wrote Rose-a-Sharon Millicent Dodd in a diary entry dated March 16, 1835. "An' e'en if she did, it sticks between my teeth like President Jackson sticks to the Indian Removal Act!"
Staffers for Senator Dodd hastily assembled a closed-door meeting to discuss how best to deflect the damage this could do to his nascent campaign. Needless to say, the eating habits of a distant relative twice remove would have a crushing effect in the farmlands of this midwestern state, home to the first caucus in the nation. "If word got out about this, yes, I think you might as well write off Iowa. Corn farmers don't like to be told that somebody doesn't like their product," said Democratic strategist James Carville, who surreptitiously took off his "Hillary '08" button mid-interview.
So far, Sen. Dodd has been largely silent about the controversy, with his only public statement being "Who the heck cares what some ancestor of mine ate for dinner?" But he is not the first candidate trying to live down the sins of his own lineage. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is still reeling from revelations that his great-grandfather was a polgymist, and more recently it was revealed that ancestors of Sen. Barack Obama, former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. John McCain all were slaveowners. Remarkably, none of them have dropped out of the 2008 Presidential race due to these scandals, although it has been rumored that former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's departure from the fight for the Democratic nomination is due to rumors that his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grand-uncle misfired his musket during the Revolutionary War.
One prominent media critic and writer, Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, questioned why the conduct of long-distant relatives has any bearing on the skills and abilities of candidates today, but he was shouted into silence by a team of journalists who were busily scouring the website Genealogy.com for more exclusive scoops. "Of course it matters whether or not Sen. Dodd's great-great-great-great-aunt liked corn," said Howard Kurtz, media analyst for the Washington Post and CNN. "That's like saying it doesn't matter what Hillary Clinton's wrote in her senior thesis in 1969! A President has to be President to all people: corn growers, abolitionists, anti-polygamists, people who don't like thesis papers. If we don't do our job as journalists and dig up all available records on these candidates going back 200 years and try to insinuate that the sins of their predecessors reflect on them, then we've failed the American people."
In a related story, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's mailman hates cheese, dampening his prospects in Wisconsin.