Linda McMahon's chances of becoming a United States Senator in November are looking a lot better today after a report in the New York Times reveals that Richard Blumenthal, the Democrats' nominee front runner, lied about being a Vietnam war veteran. The NYT's Raymond Hernandez wrote yesterday:

At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

"We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam," Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. "And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it Afghanistan or Iraq we owe our military men and women unconditional support."

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat who is now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

McMahon's Republican opponent, Rob Simmons, issued a statement saying he is "deeply troubled" by the allegations against Blumenthal.

"As someone who served, I respect Richard Blumenthal for wearing the uniform, but I am deeply troubled by allegations that he has misrepresented his service," Simmons said. "Too many have sacrificed too much to have their valor stolen in this way. I hope Mr. Blumenthal steps forward and forthrightly addresses the questions that have arisen about this matter."

Political blogger Kevin Rennie sheds more light on how the story broke - it was apparently the result of a $16 million effort on Linda's part to dig up dirt on Blumenthal, the man who would most likely be her Senate race opponent, should they both get nominated by their respective parties:

"The Blumenthal Bombshell comes at the end of more than 2 months of deep, persistent research by Republican Linda McMahon's Senate campaign. It gave the explosive Norwalk video recording to The Times. This is what comes of $16 million, a crack opposition research operation and an opponent who, in the words of the president Blumenthal worked for on a draft deferment, who gave them the sword."

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