Democrats had high hopes of holding the Senate seat in Montana after Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to China.

Emphasis on past tense, “had”.

The NY Times reports, Montana Democrat’s Thesis Presented Others’ Work as His Own:

Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.

On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues.

But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.

The Times includes some nifty graphics:

Senator John Walsh NY Times Graphic Plagiarism

Senator John Walsh NY Times Graphic Plagiarism 2

Walsh’s response?

It wasn’t intentional.

As of July 18, The Cook Political Report rated the Senate race as “Leans Republican.” I’m expecting an upgrade to “Likely Republican” in 3, 2, 1 ….

Update: This made me laugh: