Sen. Christopher Dodd said Monday that he is gearing up for a possible run for president, announcing plans to travel the country, raise money and hire staff in an effort to garner support.

Dodd, D-Conn., told The Hartford Courant in an interview in Washington that he has "decided to do all the things that are necessary to prepare to seek the presidency in 2008."

The state's senior senator, who will turn 62 on Saturday, won a fifth term in the Senate in 2004. He flirted with the idea of a presidential run two years ago, but did not enter the race as he was facing re-election and fellow Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman was running for president.

Dodd said he will not decide whether to step into the race for president until early next year. About 10 other high-ranking Democratic Party members are considering running for president.

He was not available for comment late Monday, a staff member told The Associated Press. Dodd's office would not comment on the newspaper's report.

Dodd is known as a behind-the-scenes negotiator who has been successful in getting major legislation through Congress, including the Family and Medical Leave Act and spending increases for Head Start and other programs for children.

Dodd told the Courant he is considering a run for president because constituents are telling him the country is going in the wrong direction and politicians often seem blind to their concerns.

"Families are under incredible pressure," he said. "They're working less and paying more. There's a sense the challenges they face are unprecedented."