Because nothing says sincerity like waiting a week and apologizing only after one’s ridiculous spin fails to end the controversy. Last week, Richard Blumenthal held a televised press conference and surrounded himself with veterans while accusing the media of impugning his service. Today, Blumenthal finally apologized … in an e-mail to the Hartford Courant:
After nearly a week of criticism following revelations that he misrepresented his military record and five days after a press conference in which he expressed regret for his misstatements, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Richard Blumenthal apologized.“At times when I have sought to honor veterans, I have not been as clear or precise as I should have been about my service in the Marine Corps Reserves,” Blumenthal said in a statement emailed to the Courant late Sunday by his spokeswoman, Maura Downes. “I have firmly and clearly expressed regret and taken responsibility for my words.“I have made mistakes and I am sorry. I truly regret offending anyone,” Blumenthal said. “I will always champion the cause of Connecticut’s and our nation’s veterans.”
“I am sorry” — the three words Blumenthal couldn’t bring himself to utter while at the Veterans of Foreign Wars last Tuesday, an organization for which Blumenthal couldn’t qualify as a member. The new apology comes after Blumenthal got blasted by both Republicans and Democrats for his serial dishonesty regarding his military service. The spin of being a victim of a media smear utterly collapsed, leaving Blumenthal with little choice but to finally offer an apology.
And how did he do it? Did he go back to that same VFW and apologize for both his serial fabulism and for exploiting the VFW for his attempt to spin himself out of the controversy? Did he hold a press conference? No. He sent out an e-mail to the Courant, and didn’t even bother to do that personally. Instead, he his behind the skirts of Maura Downes.
Blumenthal served honorably in the Marine Corps Reserves, and deserves full credit for wearing the nation’s uniform. Unfortunately, that sense of honor doesn’t seem to have lasted much past the last time he wore it.
Update: Jules Crittenden notes a classic response from the Connecticut GOP, which calls it an “electronic mumble.”