Christine Stuart photo
A photo of his younger years in Congress near the entrance to Tuesday’s reception at the Library of Congress (Christine Stuart photo)

U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd says he has a lot of soul searching to do as he figures out the next chapter in his life. From University of Connecticut president to Motion Picture Association lobbyist, numerous career possibilities have been mentioned next to his name. But Dodd has dismissed them for now and says he will be taking his time.

In assessing his future, Dodd said he has spoken to former colleagues about how they handled their exit from the public stage.

Some of those he’s talked to include former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and the former Republican Governor of Tennessee Lamar Alexander.

Having made his own decision to retire instead of being asked to leave may have a lot to do with how he handles his future, Dodd said. But regardless of how he exits the Senate stage he knows he will have difficulty adjusting to private life.

He said every one of his former colleagues has told him “It’s awkward and you’ll get impatient and you’ll wonder if anybody’s interested,” said Dodd. “And the phone doesn’t ring and it’s not because people are angry it’s just different.”

He said they told him he’ll be better off not rushing around to fill the void . He said Alexander moved his family to Australia for six months and wrote a book, while he doesn’t plan on going to that extreme, he said he will be taking some time off.

His two children, 9-year-old Grace and 6-year-old Christina, are still young enough to keep up with their studies online and a vacation may be in order.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I need the time and space to really think about what’s important,” Dodd said. 

Christine Stuart photo
Richard Blumenthal will be sworn in as Connecticut’s next U.S. Senator on Jan. 5 (Christine Stuart photo)

Connecticut’s next U.S. Senator, Richard Blumenthal, will be sworn in Jan. 5. Blumenthal was watching his predecessor ‘s parting speech from the Senate gallery Tuesday.

Following Dodd’s speech, which was described as moving by his current and former staff members who came prepared with tissues, Blumenthal said Dodd leaves behind a wonderful legacy from Wall Street reform to tobacco regulation.

“What showed today was how he could reach across party lines to be a partisan in the sense of a passion, but still cross the aisle and enlist bipartisan support for things that really matter,” Blumenthal said, adding that Dodd has given him some advice as he prepares himself to take office, but “none that I can share,” Blumenthal said.

Dodd celebrated his final Senate speech Tuesday evening with a reception at the Library of Congress, which was well attended by Connecticut residents and Senate colleagues.

Click here to read our earlier story about Dodd’s valedictory speech and how he hopes to be remembered.