Here's a pair of strange bedfellows to rival Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore: Turns out Paul Simon and Chris Dodd are friends from way back when, specifically from 20 years ago when they met in Czechoslovakia, introduced by SNL creator Lorne Michaels as part of an American delegation to supervise the first free Czech elections ("our job was to go around to polling stations and ask people if they were being coerced") and they ended up palling around with Vaclav Havel just as he was being elected President (John McCain was also there — Czekoslovakia, not the Dodd event). (Old friends indeed: Simon and Michaels plus SNL alum Steve Martin and Simon's wife Edie Brickell all donated to Dodd's campaign.) Simon seems to be getting the lion's share of the attention on this leg of the stump, but it's got to be a bit of a bump for Dodd, surely a better publicity gambit than complaining about how the debate time alloted to candidates wasn't fair. The clips are just-uploaded — the Simon introduction has just over 521 viewings at the time of this writing and the song clip a mere 60 — but they have a good chance of being picked up, passed around and talked about. Is it optimal that the entertainment should overshadown the candidate? Of course not, but it's not like Dodd is exactly gunning for first place on his own. Every little bit helps. Here's Simon's version of the Czech story (cut off just before Dodd takes the mike — by the Dodd campaign!); above is a clip of Simon adapting the words of "Mrs. Robinson" to his friend, Chris Dodd — candidate and Red Sox fan.
Senator Chris Dodd [YouTube]
Paul Simon and Chris Dodd, Buddies From Their Diplomatic Journey To Czechoslovakia [208 Central]
Simon Goes To Look For America [Hartford Courant]
Paul Simon with George Harrison on SNL [YouTube]