Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's Attorney General and the presumptive Dem nominee for Senate, was caught last night in the kind of lie that destroys careers.
He lied about his military service in Vietnam.
Don't be fooled. Blumenthal wasn't just another slimy politician. He was a Democratic golden boy.
From The Atlantic:
...for almost two decades, Blumenthal has been so pure, so revered throughout Connecticut that he has seemed to exist in a realm beyond politics. That's not exaggeration. Everything about Blumenthal seemed to set him apart from the ordinary sleaze and compromise of big-time politics, especially in recent years as Joe Lieberman succumbed to narcissism and Chris Dodd's sweetheart Countrywide mortgage tarnished him beyond redemption (or at least beyond reelection). For as long as I can remember, Blumenthal has been the crusading consumer advocate, humble, modest, unprepossessing, with that guileless Brill Cream haircut that somehow made him seem even more honorable--a throwback to an earlier era.But that all came crashing to a halt last night with the release of an in-depth article by the New York Times.
For years, Blumenthal claimed to have served IN Vietnam.
In this video, he specifically states: "We have learned something very important since the days when I served in Vietnam."
But the truth is far different.
There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.Make no mistake. This isn't some story about Bush serving in the National Guard rather than Vietnam. After all, he never claimed to have served where so many honorably fought and died.
The deferments allowed Mr. Blumenthal to complete his studies at Harvard; pursue a graduate fellowship in England; serve as a special assistant to The Washington Post’s publisher, Katharine Graham; and ultimately take a job in the Nixon White House.
In 1970, with his last deferment in jeopardy, he landed a coveted spot in the Marine Reserve, which virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam.
But Blumenthal did.
Politicians can fight back from torrid affairs. They can fight back from claims of alcohol abuse.
But it's another thing to so egregiously dishonor those who went to war and to expect forgiveness.
Blumenthal has already made a drastic mistake in his response to this story. He allowed it to flow into this morning without a substantive and rapid response.
To allow the stories to be written with merely a weak quote in response to defend yourself shows just how flatfooted Blumenthal was caught.
Some on the left are already calling for a new candidate.
Who knows? Come tonight, Arlen Specter should be available.