The lost Countrywide phone tapes

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The past few months have seen a marked improvement in Sen. Chris Dodd's (D-Conn.) poll ratings, to the point where the most recent Quinnipiac poll had him within 5 points of his best known GOP challenger, former Rep. Rob Simmons. In that same survey, Dodd's disapproval rating had dropped below 50% for the first time in roughly six months.

But Monday's Wall Street Journal report about Countrywide Financial Corp., which refinanced mortgages for Dodd in 2003, threatens to put the brakes on his comeback by reinvigorating the issue that got him in trouble to begin with.

According to the Journal's account (subscription req'd.),Countrywide recorded phone conversations with borrowers in the controversial mortgage program that included public officials, but those recordings have been destroyed.

While there's only a passing mention of Dodd, any story that revives the Countrywide VIP program complicates the five-term senator's re-election bid.

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