The Blumenthal Follies

It’s starting to look as if Connecticut may not have two Jewish U.S. senators after all, thanks to yet another politician who believed voters are dolts and journalists are lazy.

According to a long New York Times expose, state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal wasn’t exactly telling the truth when he told emotional stories about his service in Vietnam.

Turns out most of his Vietnam experience involved corralling draft deferments, and then, when that string ran out, getting into a Marine reserve unit that “conducted drills and other exercises and focused on local projects, like fixing a campground and organizing a Toys for Tots drive,” as the Times reports.

“What is striking about Mr. Blumenthal’s record is the contrast between the many steps he took that allowed him to avoid Vietnam, and the misleading way he often speaks about that period of his life now, especially when he is speaking at veterans’ ceremonies or other patriotic events,” according to the Times.

At a Tuesday press conference, Blumenthal said it was just a matter of a “few misplaced words.”

Maybe, but it’s hard to imagine any GOP opponent not having a field day with the Times story, which documented a lot more than a “few” words.

Blumenthal has been the standout frontrunner in the race to replace the retiring Sen. Chris Dodd and the Democratic Party’s best hope to hold on to that seat. He hoped to join Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent in the Senate.

That’s going to be a tougher challenge in the wake of the Times story  – and even more so because, as the Times reported today, his likeliest GOP opponent is “professional-wrestling impresario Linda McMahon,” who “has said she would spend as much as $50 million on her campaign, or about five times what Mr. Blumenthal expects to raise.”


Here’s a video of Blumenthal’s Tuesday afternoon press conference.


About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.