CT-Sen: Sky not falling
by desmoinesdem, Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:29:45 PM EDT
Looks like I overreacted in last week's post about how Connecticut Attorney General Dick Blumenthal has spoken about his Vietnam-era service record. The original New York Times account was damning, but some local media have pushed back on the story. Colin McEnroe of the Hartford Courant posted a long list of "flaws" in the New York Times piece, which McEnroe characterized as "weak journalism with very little meat on its bones." If you watch the whole video excerpted by the New York Times, you'll see that Blumenthal describes himself as "someone who served in the military during the Vietnam-era in the Marine Corps" before saying later, "we have learned something very important since the days that I served in Vietnam." Also, Blumenthal was indeed on the Harvard swim team in college (though not the team captain). The Times piece had suggested Blumenthal embellished his resume by wrongly claiming to have been on that team.
On Friday Connecticut Democrats held their state convention and nominated Blumenthal by acclamation after primary opponent Merrick Alpert withdrew his name from consideration.
"At times when I have sought to honor veterans, I have not been as clear or precise as I should have been about my service in the Marine Corps Reserves,'' Blumenthal said in a statement emailed to the Courant late Sunday by his spokeswoman, Maura Downes. "I have firmly and clearly expressed regret and taken responsibility for my words.
"I have made mistakes and I am sorry. I truly regret offending anyone,'' Blumenthal said. "I will always champion the cause of Connecticut's and our nation's veterans."
Today Blumenthal's campaign released an internal poll showing him ahead of likely Republican nominee Linda McMahon 55 percent to 40 percent, even though 91 percent of respondents had heard about the controversy regarding his statements about Vietnam. Last week the Republican-leaning pollster Rasmussen found Blumenthal ahead of McMahon 48 percent to 45 percent and leading former Representative Rob Simmons 50 percent to 39 percent. Not only could Blumenthal still win this race, he may still be favored to win. Charlie Cook declared this race a "tossup" just after the New York Times story broke.
What do you think, MyDD readers?