The Campaign Spot

What Makes Richard Blumenthal So Special to Connecticut Democrats?

I’ve been wondering where the heck all the other Democrats in Connecticut have been on the issue of Richard Blumenthal. Exceptionally few have suggested that he withdraw from that state’s Senate race, much less step down as state attorney general.

Here’s one exception: DNC member Robert Zimmerman:

His take:

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.

Sometimes you can see why a party goes to the wall in order to defend a member’s reputation; the Democrats effectively had to defend Bill Clinton in 1998. Sometimes, as in the case of Eliot Spitzer and Rod Blagojevich, they cut their ties immediately or near-immediately.

But what has Richard Blumenthal done that makes him so valuable to the party, so important, so irreplaceable that they have to close their eyes and insist the increasingly implausible claim that he just happened to misspeak five times (before veterans’ groups!) is believable? Connecticut Democrats have plenty of other lawmakers who could hop into this Senate race, poll well, and not put the party in the position of defending the indefensible. In light of the Slate article, it appears that as state attorney general, Blumenthal pursues his duties in the manner of a bully. Why are the vast majority of Democrats running to the barricades to defend the bully? Why is the possibility of having him the U.S. Senate worth the risk of injured vets protesting outside Blumenthal campaign offices?


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