Opinion Brief

Will Richard Blumenthal's Vietnam 'lies' kill his career?

The Connecticut attorney general fights back against a New York Times report nailing him for hyping his military service. Is his fate already sealed?

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the leading Democrat to run for Sen. Chris Dodd's vacant seat, is fighting for his political life after The New York Times nailed him for falsely suggesting he served in Vietnam. (After five deferments, he eventually served stateside in the Marine Corps Reserves.) In a nationally televised "mea culpa," Blementhal stood flanked by supportive war veterans, admitting he'd "misspoken," but declaring that he wouldn't let anybody "impugn" his service over "a few misplaced words." Will voters forgive and forget, or is his career in politics over?

Blumenthal can't recover: "Stolen valor" is "so repulsive" to Americans and "so heavy a political liability" that Democrats would be foolish to "double down" on Blumenthal, says Allahpundit in Hot Air. The are plenty of other qualified Democrats in Connecticut, and if the party wants to keep Dodd's seat — and control of the Senate — "this guy is done."
"Uh oh: Media not rallying to Blumenthal’s side after press conference"

He's still in it, for now: Barring further revelations, Blumenthal will survive his "brush with political death," says Jonathan Capehart in The Washington Post. His fudging on Vietnam was "pretty low," but his "defiant" rebuttal will help. He also got an assist from his opponent, Linda McMahon, who fed the allegations to The Times too soon to sink Blumenthal, then foolishly bragged about her role in this "dirty tricks" leak.
"Richard Blumenthal stanches the bleeding"

This is about honesty, not Vietnam: "Democrats are circling the wagon" because Blumenthal is "their best hope" to keep a critical Senate seat in a brutal year, says Eleanor Clift in Newsweek. The "silver lining" for Democrats is that, finally, nobody really cares about Vietnam anymore. But voters are "in an uproar" over politicians misleading voters — and how much Americans care on that front will determine if Blumenthal survives.
"Blumenthal can be thankful Vietnam is a generational issue"

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