Blumenthal's resume questions

Fergus Cullen:

Until Monday, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal seemed to be a shoo-in for retiring Sen. Chris Dodd's Senate seat. He appeared to have the perfect political résumé: Harvard College (magna cum laude, editor in chief of the Harvard Crimson, captain of the swim team), Yale Law, a Supreme Court clerkship, staff positions in the White House and Senate, U.S. Attorney, state representative, state senator. Along the way, he served in the Marines in Vietnam. Robert Redford wasn't this well put together in "The Candidate."

Then came revelations on the front page of the New York Times that Mr. Blumenthal had deliberately misled people about key parts of this history. Contrary to what he claimed in various speeches to veterans' groups, Mr. Blumenthal never served in Vietnam. He received at least five deferments, ultimately serving in the Marine Reserves in Washington. Nor did Mr. Blumenthal bother to correct multiple profiles that described him as having been captain of the Harvard swim team; he was not.

For two decades as attorney general, Mr. Blumenthal's word was rarely challenged. Now his credibility is damaged and his aggressively antibusiness record is being publicly scrutinized for the first time.


There is much more including cases that have blown up in his face and resulted in judgments against the state. If you saw his response to the allegations about bogus claims of service in Vietnam you got a shot of his bombast and skillful use of demagoguery. I think he is in trouble. He is now fallen to within the margin of error against his potential GOP rivals.

I am reminded of some lines in David Frizzell's You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma:


Here the city lights out shine the moon
I was just now thinking of you.
Sometimes when the wind blows you can
See the mountains,
And all the way to Malibu.
Everyone's a star here in L.A. County,
You ought to see the things that they do
All the cowboys down on the Sunset Strip
Wish that they could be like you....

I went to school summers so I could graduate from the University of Texas in three years and then went directly to Marine Corps OCS. Getting a deferment never crossed my mind. It was no surprise to me that I eventually got to serve in Vietnam. I have never regretted that time and now I find that people who avoided it would like to say they were there, but back then, not so much. Maybe Sgt. Blumenfeld wishes he could be like me, but he passed on that chance. Hopefully, voters will pass on his efforts to be a Senator.

I really have no problem with those who took their deferments and went into reserve units. It is honorable service. But claiming you were on the battlefield when you were not is not honorable.

Shakespeare's Henry V said before the battle of Agincourt:


... From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.



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