If recent polling is accurate, Richard Blumenthal still has a commanding lead in the Connecticut Senate race despite the controversy over his false statements over the years that he served in Vietnam.
But the story has legs, more so than Mark Kirk’s false statements and/or misstatements and/or exaggerations about his service.
Blumenthal built his career not just as the chief legal officer of Connecticut, but also as the chief legal officer who stood on a high moral horse and lambasted others who did not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
When people who built a career around accusing others of lying lie, it is more damaging because it goes to the heart of who they are.
It’s the reason why some politicians politically survive marital infidelity scandals while others do not; it all depends upon what we expected of the particular pol. It’s why Eliot Spitzer is not forgiven, but Bill Clinton is a Democratic Party rock star.
The latest is that one of Blumenthal’s staff members has issued a stinging, highly personal attack on Blumenthal’s honesty:
A member of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s staff, himself a former major and judge advocate in the U.S. Marines, is calling Blumenthal a liar and disgrace to the Marine Corps for representing himself repeatedly as having served in Vietnam.
Richard Hine, state assistant attorney general and New Britain resident, told the New Britain Herald Tuesday that Blumenthal had lied about his service in Vietnam at least five times. Hine has worked for Blumenthal for more than 20 years but said he felt he had to come forward after Blumenthal’s recent actions.
“This has to do with integrity, has to do with qualifications for office and with a very personal conversation back in January or February, 1991,” he said.
Surrounded by the mementos of his own life as a Marine, Hine said what Blumenthal did went against the code of being a Marine.“As a Marine, you don’t lie,” he said.
“He has forgotten whatever he learned at Parris Island.”
Polls be damned, the Blumenthal service “in” Vietnam controversy is not over, and will be an issue in the fall.