Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (search) formally announced his campaign for a fifth term Monday and quickly turned his sights on President Bush.

The announcement, from the front lawn of his East Haddam home, came as no surprise because Dodd, a Democrat, said last year in ruling out a run for president that he intended to run for his Senate seat again.

Dodd said he was seeking a record fifth term to protect against the "radical and reckless path" the Bush administration has put the country on.

Dodd, 59, said when he ran for re-election six years ago, the economy was strong, the United States had good relations with foreign countries and the country had made strides in health care and education.

Today, the war in Iraq (search) has isolated the United States and Bush has installed economic policies that are costing jobs and hurting future generations, Dodd said.

He is expected to easily gain the party's endorsement Saturday at the Democratic state convention.

Last year Dodd — who is the father of a 2-year-old daughter — considered running for president, but after mulling it over for several months he opted out, citing family obligations and his desire to stay in the Senate.

Five Republicans have expressed interest in challenging Dodd, but only Jack Orchulli (search), a Darien businessman, has raised any significant funds. The state GOP will choose which hopeful to endorse Saturday.