CT-Sen: Big trouble for Blumenthal

Since Senator Chris Dodd announced that he would not seek re-election, it has seemed that Democrats no longer had to worry about defending our U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has comfortably led every Republican opponent in every poll.

That was then, this is now:

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records. [...]

But what is striking about Mr. Blumenthal’s record is the contrast between the many steps he took that allowed him to avoid Vietnam, and the misleading way he often speaks about that period of his life now, especially when he is speaking at veterans’ ceremonies or other patriotic events. [...]

In an interview on Monday, the attorney general said that he had misspoken about his service during the Norwalk event and might have misspoken on other occasions. “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. [...]

But the way he speaks about his military service has led to confusion and frequent mischaracterizations of his biography in his home state newspapers. In at least eight newspaper articles published in Connecticut from 2003 to 2009, he is described as having served in Vietnam. [...]

And the idea that he served in Vietnam has become such an accepted part of his public biography that when a national outlet, Slate magazine, produced a profile of Mr. Blumenthal in 2006, it said he had “enlisted in the Marines rather than duck the Vietnam draft.”

It does not appear that Mr. Blumenthal ever sought to correct those mistakes.

I don't get it. By many accounts, Blumenthal has been planning to run for Senate for a long time. Why would he use misleading language about his wartime service and never correct reports that described him as a Vietnam veteran?

At least the New York Times broke this story when there is still time to nominate a different Democrat.

UPDATE: Here are competing videos: Republican candidate Linda McMahon is pushing one of Blumenthal claiming in 2008 that we've learned things "since the days that I served in Vietnam." Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is pushing this video from this year, in which Blumenthal clearly says he did not serve in Vietnam.

CT-Sen: Big trouble for Blumenthal

Since Senator Chris Dodd announced that he would not seek re-election, it has seemed that Democrats no longer had to worry about defending our U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has comfortably led every Republican opponent in every poll.

That was then, this is now:

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records. [...]

But what is striking about Mr. Blumenthal’s record is the contrast between the many steps he took that allowed him to avoid Vietnam, and the misleading way he often speaks about that period of his life now, especially when he is speaking at veterans’ ceremonies or other patriotic events. [...]

In an interview on Monday, the attorney general said that he had misspoken about his service during the Norwalk event and might have misspoken on other occasions. “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. [...]

But the way he speaks about his military service has led to confusion and frequent mischaracterizations of his biography in his home state newspapers. In at least eight newspaper articles published in Connecticut from 2003 to 2009, he is described as having served in Vietnam. [...]

And the idea that he served in Vietnam has become such an accepted part of his public biography that when a national outlet, Slate magazine, produced a profile of Mr. Blumenthal in 2006, it said he had “enlisted in the Marines rather than duck the Vietnam draft.”

It does not appear that Mr. Blumenthal ever sought to correct those mistakes.

I don't get it. By many accounts, Blumenthal has been planning to run for Senate for a long time. Why would he use misleading language about his wartime service and never correct reports that described him as a Vietnam veteran?

At least the New York Times broke this story when there is still time to nominate a different Democrat.

UPDATE: Here are competing videos: Republican candidate Linda McMahon is pushing one of Blumenthal claiming in 2008 that we've learned things "since the days that I served in Vietnam." Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is pushing this video from this year, in which Blumenthal clearly says he did not serve in Vietnam.

CT-Sen: Big trouble for Blumenthal

Since Senator Chris Dodd announced that he would not seek re-election, it has seemed that Democrats no longer had to worry about defending our U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has comfortably led every Republican opponent in every poll.

That was then, this is now:

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records. [...]

But what is striking about Mr. Blumenthal’s record is the contrast between the many steps he took that allowed him to avoid Vietnam, and the misleading way he often speaks about that period of his life now, especially when he is speaking at veterans’ ceremonies or other patriotic events. [...]

In an interview on Monday, the attorney general said that he had misspoken about his service during the Norwalk event and might have misspoken on other occasions. “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. [...]

But the way he speaks about his military service has led to confusion and frequent mischaracterizations of his biography in his home state newspapers. In at least eight newspaper articles published in Connecticut from 2003 to 2009, he is described as having served in Vietnam. [...]

And the idea that he served in Vietnam has become such an accepted part of his public biography that when a national outlet, Slate magazine, produced a profile of Mr. Blumenthal in 2006, it said he had “enlisted in the Marines rather than duck the Vietnam draft.”

It does not appear that Mr. Blumenthal ever sought to correct those mistakes.

I don't get it. By many accounts, Blumenthal has been planning to run for Senate for a long time. Why would he use misleading language about his wartime service and never correct reports that described him as a Vietnam veteran?

At least the New York Times broke this story when there is still time to nominate a different Democrat.

UPDATE: Here are competing videos: Republican candidate Linda McMahon is pushing one of Blumenthal claiming in 2008 that we've learned things "since the days that I served in Vietnam." Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is pushing this video from this year, in which Blumenthal clearly says he did not serve in Vietnam.

Blumenthal Continues to Post Major Leads in CT-Sen

The Cook Political Report continues to call the Connecticut Senate race currently competitive, only leaning towards the Democrats, and The New York Times wrote last night about concerns that the presumptive Democratic nominee in the race, Richard Blumenthal, is simply another iteration of failed Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley. But apparently there's a group of folks who disagree with these sentiments: The actual voters of Connecticut. Here's Rasmussen:

Democratic Senate hopeful Richard Blumenthal continues to pull in over 50% of the vote and hold a double digit lead no matter who he’s matched against.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut finds Blumenthal leading Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, by a margin of 52% to 39%.

The longtime state attorney general collects 55% of the vote when matched against former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons who earns 32% support.

Peter Schiff, a high-profile Wall Street investment banker, trails 54% to 29%.

Don't trust Rasmussen Reports? Concerned that it is too liberal leaning? Pollster.com, which aggregates all available polling, gives Blumenthal continuing large leads against Rob Simmons, Linda McMahon, or Peter Schiff, the three leading Republicans in the race. Yet apparently Blumenthal is in dire straights, and this race remains currently competitive. Okay...

Wait, CT-Sen Only "Leans" Democratic?

The Cook Political Report calls the Connecticut Senate race "leans Democratic" these days, a rating that reflects a belief that the race is currently competitive, though one party has an edge. I haven't seen too many competitive races, however, where one party leads by a margin well in excess of 30 points.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal tops Merrick Alpert 81 - 6 percent in a Democratic Senate primary and stomps his Republican opponents:
  • 61 - 28 percent over McMahon, compared to 64 - 23 percent January 14;
  • 62 - 26 percent over Simmons, compared to 62 - 27 percent;
  • 64 - 21 percent over Schiff, compared to 66 - 19 percent.
Blumenthal gets a 79 - 13 percent approval rating, continuing a 10-month string of approval ratings of 78 points or higher, and a 70 - 18 percent favorability rating.

The Pollster.com trend estimate gives the Democrat Blumenthal a lead in excess of 34 percentage points -- and growing. Yet this race is competitive, and only "leans" towards the Democrats. Okay...

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