No doubt you’ve by now heard of the controversy surrounding statements made by Connecticut Attorney General (and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate) Dick Blumenthal, who, as he characterized it, “misspoke” on several occasions by saying he had served in Vietnam when he actually hadn’t. Obviously inflating one’s military record is unacceptable, and many conservatives were quick to use Blumenthal’s exaggerations to attack his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, and while Blumenthal seems to have weathered the controversy without too much damage to his Senate campaign, Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois might not be so lucky.
It was recently discovered Rep. Kirk, who is running for the Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama, has claimed on numerous occasions to have been named the U.S. Navy’s Intelligence Officer of the Year – an award that he actually did not receive. Rep. Kirk’s claims to have received the award go back almost ten years, and he also touted the fact that he had been named Intelligence Officer of the Year in a campaign ad. Rep. Kirk has had difficulty giving a good explanation for his exaggeration of his military record, which is actually quite good without Rep. Kirk’s exaggeration.
Here’s Rachel Maddow’s take on the situation:
While I applaud both Dick Blumenthal and Mark Kirk for having served with honor as members of the United States armed forces, they both have done a dishonorable thing by exaggerating their military records throughout their political careers, because their exaggerations only serve to marginalize all those heroes in uniform who do their duties in relative obscurity.