Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blumenthal In Flap Over Vietnam Deceit, But Will It Hurt Him?

Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Attorney General and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, got into a bit of hot water today. The New York Times revealed that Blumenthal has repeatedly said that he served in Vietnam. Blumenthal, however, never served in Vietnam, and he apparently benefited from calculated efforts to avoid deployment. Additional media accounts, however, show Blumenthal on several other occasions being honest about his past military service, including the fact that he did not serve in Vietnam.

Although this story has occupied a lot of space in the media today, it is unclear whether it will cost Blumenthal the race. Connecticut voters seem to shrug off these things -- even though a colleague of mine close to politics in the state said that corruption and lying are two different things. Nonetheless, I am not sure if voters will parse the difference, particularly in light of the documented instances when Blumenthal admitted that he never served in Vietnam and the full support he has received from other Democrats. Greg Sargent seems to agree: The Plum Line - Richard Blumenthal will survive.

Update: The New Haven Register has already published an editorial that defends Blumenthal.

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