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You're the New Media Director: Should Richard Blumenthal's Campaign Post His Full Speech?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 19 2010

The Washington Post's Dave Weigel points us to a longer version of the video clip that has gotten Connecticut Attorney General and Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal in trouble for how he's discussed his military service.

The 2008 video isn't exculpatory, not exactly. But it does show Blumenthal carefully wording how he talks about his time in uniform. He haltingly starts his speech by saying, "I really want to add my words of thanks...as someone who served in the military...during the Vietnam era." It was later in that same speech that Blumenthal crossed the line over into saying plainly, "We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam." The twist here is that the video was uploaded to YouTube by Linda McMahon, Blumenthal's Republican opponent whose campaign has rather oddly claimed credit for pushing the New York Times to put the Blumenthal controversy on its front page.

But the clip does add context, of a sort. As does the knowledge that he was speaking at The Marvin, a senior housing and day care facility in Norwalk. This wasn't, for better or for worth, say, a speech at the Connecticut Democratic convention.

So, at this point, it's time for us to play new media manager for the Blumenthal campaign. The 2008 speech video is nowhere to be found on RichardBlumenthal.com, which is serving as his official Senate campaign site. Should it be? If it were you, if this were your campaign, would you advocate to your candidate that the full YouTube clip should be posted on your site, on your Facebook page, and so on? Or it better to leave it alone?

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