Richard Blumenthal: Will the Connecticut Attorney General's Lies About Serving in Vietnam Affect His Senate Race?

Jeanne Sager

vietnam veteran's memorial
Flickr photo by kalacaw
Richard Blumenthal should have enough name recognition on his own to make a run for the retiring Chris Dodd's Senate seat.

So why is Connecticut's attorney general trying to garner favor by claiming to be a Vietnam veteran?

Because he isn't -- in fact The New York Times has discovered the Senate candidate enjoyed not one, not two, but FIVE military deferments during the "police action" in Southeast Asia.

Which wouldn't be such a political problem -- hey, Bush made the White House, didn't he? -- if it weren't for the video tape.

Yes, Mr. Blumenthal, welcome to candidacy in the new millennium -- in which we can now watch a 4-year-old's empowering speech side-by-side with a campaign imploding on one website.

That would be YouTube, Mr. Blumenthal, where someone's cell phone ringing over and over is caught in March of 2008, along with you stating clearly,

"We have learned something important since the days I served in Vietnam."

Play it back. That sound? Those are the tires of the campaign bus screeching to a halt.

Blumenthal eventually landed in the Marine Reserves, a position he's using to justify his repeated statements (the Times discovered it wasn't just in the 2008 speech):

So he didn't serve ... but he did?

As if Democrats didn't have enough to worry about on Super Tuesday, Blumenthal is flinging mud in their eyes, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee communications director Eric Schultz is rubbing it in.

Rather than a simple "we're sorry," Schultz poked GOP candidate Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment fame. "It's no surprise Republicans would want to smear Dick Blumenthal, considering all of the debauchery at [WWE] under Linda McMahon's watch," he's quoted as saying in the Washington Post.

As Dodd tries to end his career on the high note of financial regulatory reform, his decision to escape politics couldn't have come at a better time -- for him. Whether it's a good one for his state may be decided well before November.


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