CNN’s Lou Dobbs announced today he is leaving the news network to “pursue new opportunities”. In the announcement Dobbs made references to the “public arena”, and to “leaders in media, politics, and business” who are urging him to go beyond his “role here at CNN, and to engage in constructive problem-solving”.
Dobbs says he is considering several directions, but I can’t help but feel there are only three: the House of Representatives, the Senate, or the White House. For a media celebrity of Dobbs stature the House is too small a venue, leaving the upcoming mid-term Senate races as one of his possible choices. Though Dobbs has indicated he would like a position at the U.S. Treasury, and called the leadership there “clowns”, I don’t think this is a serious direction for him to take.
Could it be that this is all a smokescreen, and Dobbs is simply being pushed out at CNN to make room for someone who can more directly compete with the Hannitys and O’Reillys out there? Probably not. CNN would just have shifted him to another time slot where he would linger and slowly die of ratings starvation. So the real question is: would the Senate be big enough for Lou Dobbs’ ego? Or might he be gearing-up for a run at the Presidency in 2012? And in what party? Could we be looking at the next Pat Buchanan-style spoiler? And which side would he spoil the most as an independent?