The NY Times has the story; the longtime crusading state Attorney General (he was Eliot Spitzer before Eliot Spitzer was), Richard Blumenthal has sometimes just implied it, but on other occasions (including one the NYT has on video) he’s said outright that he served in the Marines in Vietnam, when in fact he enlisted in a stateside Marine Reserve unit only near the end of the war after obtaining five draft deferments to pursue his legal education. The deferments are nothing to be proud of, but they’re a common enough story among male political leaders of that generation in both parties. But lying to cover himself in the hard-earned valor of others is dishonorable and despicable, and Blumenthal has been doing it for years now in a political career that’s spanned two decades.
Should Tailgunner Dick step down? He was leading in the general election polls before this broke, and it appears that the deadline to nominate a candidate for Chris Dodd’s seat is Friday, which isn’t much time for the Democrats to find a replacement and decide whether to force him out. You’ll recall that Tim Johnson was forced out of a job with far less significance (manager of the Toronto Blue Jays) some years ago for making up a Vietnam record he didn’t have. Blumenthal’s credibility is now in tatters, and one gains a greater idea of why he had passed on runs for major statewide office so many times before.
Blumenthal’s implosion should focus GOP attentions again on this seat as a possible pickup, as two candidates square off for the GOP nomination, former Congressman and real Vietnam veteran Rob Simmons, and wrestling tycoon Linda MacMahon. That sound you heard is another seat going back on the board.