It didn't occur to Sen. Chris Dodd that VIP status at Countrywide mortgage for the Chairman of Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs might be preferential treatment...
Sen. Chris Dodd on Tuesday denied any attempt to seek preferential treatment in the refinancing of two mortgages with Countrywide Financial Corp., while acknowledging that he was a VIP customer. But he said he didn’t think that meant he would get special treatment.
When Chris Dodd's Presidential campaign ended, he was rumored as a potential VP candidate for Barack Obama. But Dodd declined. Why?
"Who would want to be vice president?" Dodd chuckled. "I'd rather be chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
But it's not just Senator Dodd. Countrywide Mortgage was also giving preferential treatment to Senator Conrad....who was just shocked to learn that a mortgage company might be giving preferential treatment to a US Senator on the Senate Finance Committee.
Senator Kent Conrad said he unknowingly received preferential terms on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial Group after he was unexpectedly put on the telephone with the company's chairman, Angelo Mozilo.
Let me point out a few dots that may connect here...
(1) Who said this about Chris Dodd?
Chris Dodd has enormous capacity, intellectually. He has great experience. I think he has a good sense of politics, a good sense of the issues. And when the politics of differentiation really kicks in, he is going to have every chance in the world to say, “Here is why I am better.”
Former Obama VP vetter James Johnson, who had to resign after it was discovered that he got "loans worth $1.7 million from ... Countrywide Home Loans, through a special arrangement with the company’s CEO."
(2) Where else does James Johnson show up? In the Kent Conrad “preferential treatment” story, putting Conrad in touch with the Countrywide CEO...
Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, said he called his friend James Johnson in 2002 for advice on where to get a mortgage, and the former Fannie Mae chief happened to be with Mozilo. Conrad said Johnson handed the phone to Mozilo, and they talked for about 30 seconds without discussing the specifics of any loans.
Incidentally, at the time he was helping to facilitate preferential treatment for Senators, “Johnson was a consultant for Washington-based Fannie Mae, the largest mortgage-finance company..."
(3) Finally, let’s tie all the threads together. Guess where James Johnson was last week? Consulting with Sen. Conrad. About Barack Obama’s VP candidate search.
Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential search team on Tuesday shared with a Democratic senator the names of about 20 people under consideration to be the presumptive Democratic nominee's running mate. […] Two of the three members of the search team, Jim Johnson and Eric Holder, came to Conrad's Capitol Hill office Tuesday morning for a "wide-ranging" and "free-form" meeting that lasted about 40 minutes, Conrad said.
Among the names floated by the CNN story as “possible front-runners”….Chris Dodd.
Incidentally, Barack Obama had previously cited Countrywide as a contributor to the mortgage crisis. That, apparently, is not the only thing to which Countrywide has been making contributions. Indeed, Obama is positively surrounded by them.