Former self-proclaimed Vietnam vet Richard Blumenthal deserves a formidable Republican opponent. Blulmenthal is the Connecticut Attorney General who regularly used his office as a steppingstone to better things; the better thing he now seeks is the job of United States Senator from Connecticut.
Slate’s William Saletan makes an impressive case that no one should give Blumenthal a break for his Vietnam deception because he has never given anyone a break. Saletan argues that Blumenthal has made a career out of holding others to the strictest standards of truth — and mercilessly prosecuting them when they fall short.
Last fall he wielded the authority of his office, for example, to threaten righteous legal action against a hotel and a musical performance company for calling their tribute show “An Evening With the Platters.” He said it was “unclear” whether the company owned the rights to the Platters’ name. After the hotel backed down and renamed its show “A Tribute to the Platters,” Blumenthal declared victory but warned, “I will continue fighting to enforce Connecticut’s truth-in-music law.”
How does that stack up against Blumenthal having falsely held himself out as a Vietnam vet on several occasions?
I doubt that former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon is the right candidate to maximize Republican chances against. McMahon apparently had a hand in dredging up Blumenthal’s Vietnam deception, and she emerged with the Republican endorsement at the party convention last weekend; her financial resources were apparently a strong selling point along with her outsider status.
Republican former Rep. Rob Simmons is the decorated Vietnam veteran who contested McMahon for the nomination. Simmons narrowly lost the nomination to McMahon at the Connecticut Republican convention last week. Observing from a distance, I thought that Simmons would match up with Blumenthal as well as Hulk Hogan matched up with King Kong Bundy.
Simmons had vowed to take McMahon on in a primary, but today comes word that he is ending his campaign. I haven’t seen McMahon in action, and I would love to be proved wrong, but drawing McMahon as his opponent strikes me as a bit of undeserved good fortune for Blumenthal.
UPDATE: A fair-minded Connecticut reader acknowledges my concerns, but observes: “I think she’s got a chance but even if she comes up short (admittedly where the smart money is right now), she’s got the money and the cage-match instinct to assure Blumenthal won’t just walk into the Senate. Those two points for me make a compelling case. Further, I’ve personally met and spoken with them both, Simmons last November and McMahon in February. I came away feeling that she’s far more authentic than he. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that difference also shows through in the candidates’ commercials.”
In a long message, another Connecticut reader adds: “I am unhappy that the choice came down to these two…. no one really knows what McMahon stands for or believes in. Her ads are all biography and mouthing of conservative platitudes.”.
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