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May 24, 2010

Dick Blumenthal: I Have Been Informed By My Political Consultants and Pollsters That I Am Truly, Deeply Sorry On a Very Personal, Poll-Tested Level


Well, now that he's had time for a week of polling and several days of numbers-crunching and analysis, he's really very sorry about the lies.

I'm going to assemble a focus group to find out if I forgive him.

The Washington Post headline says he apologizes -- "(Again)." Really, again? The first time 'round people characterized his statement as "defiant," and I seem to remember him copping an FYNQ tone when he stated he would not abide anyone "impugning" his service.

That's an apology? I've heard more contrition from "Macho Man" Randy Savage calling out the Undertaker in a psych-out promotion for Wrestlemania 25.

But anyway -- Here's your heartfelt apology, Wingnuts.

A week after initially expressing "regret" for exaggerations about his Vietnam service, Connecticut state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) issued another apology for his past statements.

"I have made mistakes and I am sorry," Blumenthal said in a statement released Sunday night to the Hartford Courant. "I truly regret offending anyone,'' Blumenthal said. "I will always champion the cause of Connecticut's and our nation's veterans."

I am sorry if you were so thin-skinned as to take offense, Wingnuts.

Blumenthal's second bite at the apology apple seems to be an acknowledgment that his press conference last Tuesday did not -- as many Democrats insisted it had -- put the issue of his service, which was first raised in a New York Times story, to rest.

(His campaign said that Blumenthal's statement was a response to a question from the Courant seeking comment on an editorial that ran in the paper on Sunday.)

So he didn't actually offer this of his own volition.

Over the last week there have been reports on both sides of the Vietnam question.

A Stamford Advocate story noted that one of the speeches the Times used as evidence that Blumenthal had exaggerated his service (he was in the Marine reserves and never served time in country) also showed the Attorney General speaking truthfully about his time in the military.

But, other news reports have revealed other incidents of misstatements -- his critics would say lies -- by Blumenthal about his Vietnam record.

As many have noted, Blumenthal's spin sounds like "Your Honor, I was faithful to my wife on literally dozens of occasions."

So, is this poll-tested? Of course. Outwardly, the campaign is claiming everything's jake, but...

Internally, however, there is an acknowledgment that Blumenthal has taken a hit from the allegations -- though Democratic sources insist he had such a large lead prior to the Vietnam issue surfacing that he remain a steady favorite in the fall.

A poll released by Blumenthal's campaign today makes that very point; he leads former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon (R) 55 percent to 40 percent -- even with more than nine in ten (91 percent) of likely voters aware of the Vietnam story.

That is, indeed, a sizable lead, if true.

Here's a longer cut of the "apology:"

"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."

So: He's saying he already apologized adequately.

Blumenthal is telling the truth, mostly, when he says he didn't mean to directly lie.

He didn't. Mostly.

But what he's not mentioning is that while he didn't mean to directly, unambiguously lie, he sure the hell intended to mislead people into thinking he was in Vietnam by implication -- implication that could never be pinned on him.

And his screw-up was failing to merely mislead and falling into full-on, provable lies.

So, his apology is basically Sorry I wasn't crafty enough to deceive you without any fallout.

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posted by Ace at 01:54 PM

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