by Charles A. Monagan
Mar 2, 2011
12:03 PMOn Connecticut
A Perfect Match
Although it was rumored for a few weeks, former U.S. senator from Connecticut Christopher Dodd has now officially been hired as the new CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. He goes from an annual paycheck of $174,000 and all the scrutiny that comes with serving in the public eye to a reported $1.5 million per year and the relative anonymity of the private sector.
Of course, "Chris Dodd" and "anonymity" go together like oil and water, and this position in charge of one of the Hollywood's most important organizations will keep the ... uh ... modest, introverted and camera-shy kid from Willimantic in the limelight for years to come. In return, the MPAA gets one of the best-connected players in Washington, D.C.
If you're not familiar with the MPAA, it's the group that runs the movie-rating system and, according to its website, "serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries in the United States and around the world." In other words, they are the lobbying organization for Hollywood, so having a gregarious five-term senator at the helm is an ideal situation, even though Dodd promised that he wasn't going to be a lobbyist.
An industry built on illusion and fiction now turning to a man who is comfortable spinning it—eHarmony couldn't have made a better match.
Although he has to wait two years before he can officially become a lobbyist, no doubt Dodd will immediately use the political clout accrued over three decades serving the people of Connecticut to aid the agenda of the poor and downtrodden movie moguls and television producers of La-La Land.
Of course, none of this is really all that much of a surprise. From this very blog, just a few months ago:
Although he got emotional on occasion, Dodd seemed to relish his last big moment in the Senate spotlight, and as he bows out, very few think that he's leaving the public stage for good, despite proclaiming, "My moment is now at an end." He has already been suggested as a possible candidate as president of UConn, and there has also been talk of him becoming a lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association, which would be fitting given that he has never met a microphone or camera he didn't like.
Like KISS, Michael Jordan or Brett Favre, people who have spent decades in the public eye and have repeatedly "retired" only to come back time and time again, there's no doubt that we will continue to see plenty of Chris Dodd, most likely in a capacity that will capitalize on his good-term departure from his distinguished Senate time. To paraphrase the recent Shinedown hit, "Sometimes goodbye is a second career."
Fittingly, the man whose eight great-grandparents all were born in Ireland takes over the MPAA on March 17. Begorrah!A Perfect Match