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Monday, May 17, 2010

Say Bye-Bye To Conn. Senate Candidate Blumenthal (D)

Richard Blumenthal, current Attorney General of Connecticut and Democratic candidate for Senate, has a problem. A big problem.

Blumenthal is considered the overwhelming favorite to keep Chris Dodd's seat in Barack Obama's hands.

But, if this NY Times report is true, Blumenthal's days should be numbered, because he has flat-out lied about serving in Vietnam, a tale Blumenthal often tells on the campaign trail:

At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

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.

This should put an end to Blumenthal as a candidate. But "should" never really meant much for Chris Dodd, so we'll see.


Here is part of Slate's profile of Blumenthal in 2000: "At 24, Blumenthal turned down the directorship of VISTA. He enlisted in the Marines rather than duck the Vietnam draft." In fact, according to the Times' report, he enlisted in the Marine Reserves only after all his deferments had expired and it was clear he would be drafted.

Here is the partial bio of Rob Simmons, former Republican Congressman and leading contender for the Republican nomination: "Rob’s public service career began when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1965 as a Private, and spent 19 months in Vietnam where he earned two Bronze Star Medals."

Simmons didn't take long to Tweet:

Linda McMahan, another Republican candidate, has posted the video of Blumenthal's famous statement (no embed available, I guess she wants you to visit her YouTube channel).

Found an alternative post of the video with embed enabled:

Updates 5-18-2010:

The McMahon campaign is taking credit for the opposition research which broke the story, per Politico:

Pulling back the curtain on journalistic sausage-making usually hidden from voters, a Republican Senate candidate is taking credit for the front-page New York Times story accusing Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of “plainly untrue” remarks about Vietnam service.

The campaign of World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder Linda McMahon, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run against Blumenthal, is doing little to discourage suggestions it provided the sort of opposition research to The Times that is known around campaigns as an “oppo dump.”

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  1. So, he never served in Vietnam, but, he looked good in his Marine Reserve uniform. Hmmmmm, does he want grape jelly, or strawberry preserves on his *toast*?

  2. Who knows? He may survive this. New Englanders tend to have blind spot on this topic. After all, most of them still insist that John Kerry was a war hero.

  3. Who can believe this guy? What pol doesn't have people reading EVERYTHING written about their boss to ensure that the PR is correct and good?!

    Puleeeze! Democrat double-standard will get this slimeball through, IMHO. But, he needs to be grilled by the Republicans over this one.

  4. I don't get it. Why would the ultra-Left NYT drop this bomb tonight instead of two days from now when it was safe? Unless they knew someone else had the story and was about to drop it tomorrow morning.

  5. This may have been ignored or excused in the past. In the present environment, it's unlikely. Personally, as a veteran of the Vietnam era, I'm sick and tired of people claiming service they never had for a war they never supported.

  6. Comment from uncledan (generating bX-6t5z2i error, so I'm posting it): "I don't get it. Why would the ultra-Left NYT drop this bomb tonight instead of two days from now when it was safe? Unless they knew someone else had the story and was about to drop it tomorrow morning."

  7. OK, now I'm really pissed.

    "Mr. Curry said the records showed that Mr. Blumenthal had received at least five deferments. Mr. Blumenthal did not dispute that but said he did not know how many deferments he had received."

    I guarantee you that every one of us male baby boomers knows EXACTLY how many deferments we got. I got two before enlisting in the Navy.

    Then there's this.

    "On a less serious matter, another flattering but untrue description of Mr. Blumenthal’s history has appeared in profiles about him. In two largely favorable profiles, the Slate article and a magazine article in The Hartford Courant in 2004 with which he cooperated, Mr. Blumenthal is described prominently as having served as captain of the swim team at Harvard. Records at the college show that he was never on the team.

    Mr. Blumenthal said he did not provide the information to reporters, was unsure how it got into circulation and was “astonished” when he saw it in print."

    Apparently not astonished enough to ask for a correction though.

    The guy is a first class prevaricator who has been exposed. And a fake vet besides. He should be removed as Attorney General of Connecticut and tried under the Stolen Valor Act.

  8. This is just sad. I feel sorry for anybody caught up in a mess like this, Republican or Democrat. Here's a guy with an accomplished life who throws it all away for...what? To engage in utterly unnecessary exaggerations about his military career? Why? It's just so sadly, tragically dumb. Call me soft-hearted but I really feel bad for this guy. He's going to deserve what he gets, but still...man. How's he going to face his friends and family? And all those vets. Wow.

  9. I think if he'd just been another guy who was in uniform but was lucky enough to have done all his time in Germany during the Vietnam war and maybe was a little slipshod in how he described his service, well, okay. Embarrassing but possibly recoverable. But he wasn't that. He was a "child of privilege", someone who had access to the best education, the right people, the perfect opportunities and then when he had to serve or be drafted he landed way outside the sh*tpile a whole lot of other people weren't so lucky enough to avoid. It encapsulates what so many people believe about the war, that if you were born right you got the magic pass and if you weren't, well your name's on a black wall and some old guys sitting down at the VA Hall are the only ones who kind of remember that you were once young and alive. And the guys who got away with it? They run the country now.

  10. Kerry has still not given his Navy Records overseer permission to share his Vietnam three Purple Hearts info with the Boston Globe. At the time, non-hero Kerry could get a return ticket home with three PH's and many GIs of moral turpitude and abject cowardice [both apply in Kerry's case] used fake self-inflicted wounds to dodge more 3365 & a wake-up. Kerry was a mere lying cheat, but Blumenthal has the Democrat disease full-bore and like his gambling addiction, has a compulsion to lie.

  11. Blumenthal sounds like John Kerry. Are they twins?

  12. According to today's news, a young man was caught lying about his academic record and his name to get into Harvard.

    Blumenthal and Obama were liars who got out with degrees.

  13. Amazing that these guys want to embellish their portfolios with an easily verifiable event. Is it arrogance or just plain stupidity?

  14. Since he is a Democrat this is a NON-ISSUE. How dare you consider that he is anything other than a patriotic, hero for his service to the Democratic Party????

  15. Whats the problem here? Tom Harkin lied about being in Vietnam and he is a Dem hero anyway.

  16. I doubt that he resigns over this. However, I would not not be shocked to see the polls tighten even more than they already have because of this. His lead had already dropped from about 30 points, to about 14 points in a few months. So, I would not be shocked if Linda McMahon makes this a race and makes this a potential pick-up come November.

  17. Linda McMahon is not qualified to serve as U.S. Senator. And no, its not about her sex, its about her $10K contribution to Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee and other squirley and ambiguous loyalties.

    Both Peter Schiff and Rob Simmons would be far better choices for the Senate Seat presently occupied by Dudd.

  18. Blumenthal is toast. At his presser today, he declined to apologize while only expressing "regret" for his "mispeaking," went heavy on his pride as having served in the Marine Corps Reserve, and appeared to me to be anticipating the next shoe to drop by huffily asserting that after he ran out of deferment possibilities, he cadged a much-prized reserve spot by looking the recruiter up in the DC phonebook.

    This whole line will destruct in less than 48 hours -- especially that last part. In 1970, the draft lottery came into play so that Blumenthal would no longer be able to keep his job-related deferment (he drew a low enough lottery number to face the draft very, very soon). What to do? There had been long, long lines of guys waiting for reserve slots in all the services for years -- because it was settled US policy under two Presidents that the war would not result in a reserve call-up, which would make the war a national emergency (as odd as that may seem, it was an article of political faith among Dems and the GOP). What's more, by 1970, the "Vietnamization" of the war had begun and the numbers of US troops in-country were projected to fall steadily, making a reserve call-up even more remote. Nonetheless, the draft continued and, once drafted, a man's options were exceedingly limited.

    Thus, like the other services, the Marine Corps Reserve was a sort of sanctuary from the draft, a fact of which every man of draft age was well aware, leading to very long waiting lists. Yet, when he needed a reserve spot, Blumenthal magically got one. What a lucky guy!

    It's not possible that working in the White House had nothing to do with that, eh? That his patron and boss, Daniel Patrick Moynihan didn't pitch in to help his protege?

    There is bound to be someone from the Nixon White House or the Marine Corps who is in a position to answer those questions. So the story is far from over.

  19. The Dems should never have picked a Dodd guy in the first place. They need new blood. I hope Blumenthal drops out. The last thing we need is a another sleazy con in the senate.


  20. My husband DID serve in the Vietnam War and we are both highly pissed at Blumenthal and others who claim to have served there and didn't. Cowards! Liars! We hope his world crashes around him, and quickly.