Here is Kevin Rennie’s response to a stunning disclosure made by the New York Times, on the front page no less, concerning Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s non-service in Vietnam:
“Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s campaign for the United States Senate has been holed below the waterline by a devastating New York Times expose of Blumenthal’s false claims to have served in Vietnam. The piece, fed to the paper by the Linda McMahon Seante campaign, is accompanied by a chilling 2008 video of Blumenthal blithely making the false claim. The ‘brilliant’ Blumenthal provides a stunningly inadequate response, with the universal weasel word ‘misspoken’ appearing in the piece. It’s followed by a non-sequitur quote: ‘My intention has always been to be completely clear and accurate and straightforward, out of respect to the veterans who served in Vietnam,’ he said.”
And the story arrives on the equivalent of today’s breakfast table, a packed e-mail cache, with a video showing the U.S. senate wannabe declaiming on his service in Vietnam.
Rennie’s blog is accompanied with a photo showing the Titanic – or is it the Andrea Doria? – slipping below the waves, swallowed up in a tragic black night, light a’beaming, party goers, one supposes, deprived by the sinking of the ship of their revelry, their hour of joy.
Vietnam – or more precisely, the false claim to have served in Vietnam – is still claiming its casualties.
The man Blumenthal hopes to replace in the senate, Chris Dodd, spent his Vietnam years serving in the Peace Corp in the Dominican Republic in the 60's, a few miles from Fidel Castro’s festive paradise; but Dodd never claimed to served in Vietnam, while Blumenthal indisputably did.
President Clinton, who clearly avoided the draft, after sticking his toe in the anti-war movement and then wraping himself in a Rhode’s scholarship in England where, safe from whizzing bullets, he protested the war, never claimed to have served in Vietnam, while Blumenthal indisputably did.
Others on this route have found the door opening to a bright political future tightly shut against them.
Blumenthal plans later today to hold a news conference, with veterans serving as a patriotic and decorative backdrop. His most recent claim the New York Times story is an outrageous distortion is itself 1) outrageous and 2) a distortion.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe discusses the issue here.
Famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward weighs in here.
The question that hangs like a Damoclean sword above Blumenthal’s head this morning is: Will Blumenthal have a future in the US senate? Has the fat lady sung?