Former senator Chris Dodd to top lobbyist post?

Is the search for Hollywood’s next lobbyist almost over?

Chris Dodd, who just ended a 30-year tenure in the Senate, is a “whisker away” from being named the next CEO of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, the New York Times reported Monday.

If so, it would finally end a yearlong search for a successor to Dan Glickman that has focused heavily on a star name with cachet in D.C.

Dodd, 66, has been the leading candidate for weeks, sources say, having trekked to Los Angeles recently to meet with studio chiefs.

The search has had an “I’ll believe it when I see it” quality. Last summer, it looked as if former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey was on the cusp of taking the job, but the search committee eventually moved on when it became clear that he longed to stay in New York. Another prospect, former Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, also failed to materialize.

Dodd served as senator from Connecticut from 1981 to 2011, having declined to run for another term. Dodd had been chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

His presidential bid in 2008 failed to ignite, but it did draw a substantial list of studio chiefs as contributors, as well as friends like Lorne Michaels and HBO’s Richard Plepler, one of Dodd’s former aides. Singer Paul Simon even campaigned for him in Iowa.

A big part of the job will be lobbying for stricter antipiracy laws, including a bill expected to be introduced soon to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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