He stumbled; he didn't steal. Which is why I say cut Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal a break.
Everyone's made the guy out to be a liar at worst -- an exaggerator at best -- for saying he served in Vietnam when he didn't.
Indeed, in several speeches, that's exactly what the front-running senatorial candidate said: That he was in Vietnam. In some speeches. But here's the thing: Not all speeches, and not all the time. Which violates the cardinal rule of lying: That you keep telling the same lie.
Blumenthal did not.
More typical in those speeches apparently not examined by The New York Times is this: If you're going to foist an image of an heroic Vietnam vet, why on Earth would you admit to an audience that you never served in Vietnam — not a few times, but most times?
Why would you far more often say you served during Vietnam, and not in, Vietnam? The New York Times focused on the latter, but you said a lot more of the former.
Let's assume you're not Sybil; then what? Because to make the war hero thing work, you've got to work it; not some of the time — all of the time. Not in some speeches off the cuff, but in speeches on and off the cuff.
Blumenthal didn't. As far as I can tell, he quite often made a point of saying he didn't do the heavy lifting in service, just that he appreciated his Marine Reserves service and really appreciated those who did far more in service. He almost always explained the difference, and almost always cited his gratitude.
Look, I'm all for going after the attorney general on issues that matter, but not silly ones that do not.
Hit him for going after companies with reckless abandon — fine. Hit him for sometimes creating villains of all capitalists — fine. Hit him for often making legal mountains out of insignificant molehills — fine. But cool it on lumping him with the worst of the worst simply because he didn't speak his best.
As far as I can tell, he didn't steal any money or misappropriate any funds. He didn't score any sweetheart mortgages like the guy he wants to replace in the Senate or extravagant vacation deals like a former Ways and Means chief in the House. He didn't tap his toes in a bathroom stall or dial up prostitutes at a Washington hotel.
Look, Joe Biden was caught plagiarizing speeches as a senator and he went on to become a vice president. Surely Richard Blumenthal getting caught stumbling in some speeches as an attorney general shouldn't stop him from becoming a senator.
Get him on issues that matter, for God's sake; not nonsense like this that does not.
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