Kudos to CNN’s Rick Sanchez and his guests, including former DNC member Robert Zimmerman, for not attempting to perpetuate Richard Blumenthal’s spin. Zimmerman calls out the Connecticut Democrat for “unconscionable” lies, both about his military service and about his attempt to pass off the controversy as an attack on his military service. Does this signal that Blumenthal won’t survive the scandal? Hmmmm:
Jim Geraghty has the transcript:
RICK SANCHEZ: What do you do with a guy like this? Because it’s kind of looking embarrassing.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN: Well, it’s more than embarrassing – it’s unconscionable for the Attorney General of Connecticut not to have set the record straight with all the misstatements about his military service in the past. It’s unconscionable for him to repeat those statements – false statements about his military service, and I think very frankly the Democrats of Connecticut have got to make it clear to him that he has to apologize, and I’m not following – by the way, I’m differentiating myself from many of the Democratic pundits who are following the party talking points. He did not vindicate himself at that press conference.
I think we’ll need more than one polling cycle to determine whether Blumenthal survives the scandal, but it’s not a good sign when strategists from your own party call your conduct “unconscionable” on national TV. Democrats don’t have a lot of time to make a decision on whether he stays or goes, and one could see this kind of national criticism as a message from the Democratic establishment to get out. If Blumenthal intended to leave on his own volition, however, he would have probably done so this week. As this kind of blowback continues, Blumenthal’s numbers will continue to sink.
What happens next? If the party establishment has decided to push Blumenthal out of the race, they’ll have to do it soon. May 25th is the deadline for endorsing candidates for office in Connecticut, which means they’d need to launch a replacement campaign within the next couple of days. If not, and if Blumenthal refuses to leave, Democrats may be stuck with an albatross in the Senate race regardless of which Republican wins the nomination.
Update: This probably won’t help Blumenthal convince Democrats to leave him in the race:
Broader newspaper archival searches continue to turn up instances in which Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut portrayed himself as a Vietnam War veteran even though he did not serve in the war.
The most recent article unearthed is one published in The Milford Mirror, a weekly, describing an appearance he made at a May 2007 Memorial DayParade in Milford, Conn., attended by local officials, military people and the relatives of a local man killed while serving in Iraq.
As people gathered around a bandstand to give praise to fallen veterans, the article said, Mr. Blumenthal recalled his days during the Vietnam War.
“In Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said, according to the article, “we had to endure taunts and insults, and no one said, ‘Welcome home.’ I say welcome home.”
Had Blumenthal just apologized, this would not be news.