Dodd's Next Stop: 1600 Pennsylvania?

It seems like every time you turn around, someone else is considering, contemplating, and intimating that he (or she) is going to run for president in 2008.

Biden, and Clinton, and Warner, oh my!, have been on the brain and the lips of presidential projectors for a while now, so it's always interesting when a new "potential" candidate emerges.

This week, the latest name to go up on the "Definitely Evaluating-Maybe Intending-Hardly Declaring A 2008 Bid" marquee is that of Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

On Wednesday, Dodd faced the White House question on the Don Imus radio show. Saying he's fundraising, as well as "visiting people in various parts of the country, [and] getting organized," Dodd sounded purposefully exploratory and optimistic in his approach.

"Doing what I got to do to try and get ready to make an announcement after the first of the year if things go well," Dodd said.

If Dodd's June fundraiser in Washington is any indication of how things are going, to say "well" would be conservative. He raked in close to $1 million at that event alone.

He also has started hiring more political staff, and has done so very strategically. Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post confirmed yesterday that Dodd has brought on former-DNC and Howard Dean adviser Maura Keefe to focus on operations in early states, such including New Hampshire and Iowa. Wise to the necessities of presidential pecuniary prowess, Dodd also hired three staffers to enhance his fundraising efforts in the coming months, Cillizza reported.

Last but not least, Dodd's forthcoming trip to Florida tells us something. When politicians' itineraries take them to significant electoral destinations like New Hampshire, Iowa, Ohio and Florida, political observers begin to wonder about what sorts of plans they have percolating.

When Dodd goes to Ft. Lauderdale to address the "Lawton Chiles Luncheon" at the Florida Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson gala on July 22nd, he will be making his first non-Senate related trip outside of Connecticut. There, he will follow in the footsteps of the ubiquitous Senator Biden, perhaps his future competitor for the 2008 Democratic nomination, who spoke at the 2005 annual dinner.

"This is a big opportunity for him to introduce himself to active Florida Democrats," Florida Democratic Party press secretary Mark Bubriski said. "People in Florida are eager to meet and learn more about Senator Dodd."

Governor Bill Richardson, D-NM, whose name has also been circulated for White House candidacy, and retired General Wesley Clark, who ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 race and may run again in 2008, will also be guests at the conference.

So, Dodd will not necessarily be the feature presentation at the Ft. Lauderdale event. Even so, it is not a paltry beginning on a possible path to the presidency.