But you may not know it until well into this web ad from the NRSC, their first entry in the suddenly-competitive Senate race in Connecticut. The ad is 70 seconds long, but the first 30 seconds is more or less a Hall of Shame for Democratic politicians over the last couple of years. Only at nearly the half-way mark does attention turn to Richard Blumenthal and his “during and not in” explanation of his serial fabulism regarding his military service and Vietnam:
As a national attention-getter, this works pretty well. As an effective attack on Blumenthal aimed at voters in the Nutmeg State, I’m not so sure. Isn’t Blumenthal’s dishonesty and his bizarre response to the controversy enough? For a state that votes as strongly Democratic as Connecticut, parading a series of corrupt Democratic pols for as long as this ad does may not be the best way to hold the audience.
Also, the focus on Blumenthal’s deferments in the ad’s graphics misses the point. No one has even suggested that the deferments were a problem; Blumenthal worked within the system (much as Dick Cheney did), and Blumenthal did eventually volunteer for reserve duty (much as Dan Quayle and George W. Bush did). The deferments are a red herring; the problem isn’t that Blumenthal qualified for the deferments, but that he lied about having been in Vietnam during his service. The ad wastes time on that argument that would be better used on the actual dishonesty in Blumenthal’s repeated statements.
It’s not a bad start, but future efforts need to be more focused on Blumenthal’s lies and attempts at blameshifting, rather than deferments, Jim Traficant, and Rod Blagojevich.