* The Chicago editorial boards reacted harshly to the latest Mark Kirk controversy. Tribune…
This is not Kirk’s finest moment. It reflects the hubris he shows from time to time. We’d like to hear the congressman acknowledge that the award listed on his bio was inflated, not “misidentified.” We’d like to hear him say he’s sorry. But no.
As someone who was accused of embellishing his credentials as early as 2000, Kirk should know that all such claims can, will and should be checked out. In American politics, military service is like a platinum credit card. […]
Why is it that every time a politician makes an “unintentionally” false claim about his military record he stumbles up — not down — the ladder? Nobody who was a colonel ever says he was a corporal.
In an age of deep distrust of politicians, Kirk’s mistake - appearing to have assumed for himself credit for an award honoring an entire unit he led during the Serbian conflict in the 1990s - is a serious lapse, for which he has not apologized but lashed out at his opponent. […]
When you factor in other questions - how could he so repeatedly get wrong the name of an award for which he was supposedly so proud? - you cannot avoid other, less flattering conclusions.
Recognizing that, Kirk must apologize for having so misled voters - accidentally or otherwise. It is not unusual for business or community leaders caught in similar resume lapses to have to surrender their jobs
This is the first time in Kirk’s long career that he has received the trifecta of newspaper slams on the same day.
* MSNBC’s First Read asks a good question…
But what puzzles us, what makes no sense about this, is that his record — on its own — is admirable. And his opponent Alexi Giannoulias (D), as Kirk points out, never served. So what was he doing? The truth seemed good enough, but apparently wasn’t for Kirk.
That’s bothered me as well. Why embellish a pretty darned stellar record? Why, as the Sun-Times editorial points out, constantly refer to “combat” service when you really just flew over the scene in a plane? Why say you were “deployed,” which is a term of art, when you actually weren’t? Why say you “served in Operation Iraqi Freedom” when, as the Sun-Times again points out, you served “during” the conflict? Greg Sargent follows up on that one…
Kirk actually served stateside in the Navy reserves during the Iraq War. The Kirk campaign, which had previously refused to publicly acknowledge the misrepresentation or respond to repeated requests about it, sent me a statement this morning admitting they corrected the false claim:
“Kirk’s 2005 campaign Web site noted this correctly. Unfortunately, the official Web site listed the word ‘in’ instead of ‘during’ but was corrected in 2005.”
The use of “in” rather than “during” is precisely what Richard Blumenthal claimed as his excuse for misrepresenting his own record, though Blumenthal seems to have misled a bit more frequently.
* As the Tribune notes, Kirk has a hubris problem. Every politician has a hubris problem, and every politician tries to put the best spin on his or her past. But, in this country, fibbing about one’s military record has long been considered wholly dishonorable. As someone who has served with distinction and with honor, Kirk should know better. Is he overcompensating for something? Is this just a personality tick which is no big deal, or is there a deeper problem here? And was even last week’s explanation untrue? Maybe…
After years of wrongly claiming he had been named U.S. Navy intelligence officer of the year, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk says he corrected the error when his staff discovered it.
Turns out, it was the Navy that gave Kirk a heads-up after reporters inquired about the candidate’s military record.
* Today, Kirk dug the hole deeper by sending out a press release touting a statement by his former commanding officer…
Any suggestion that Mark Kirk did not earn or receive the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Rufus L. Taylor Intelligence Award is incorrect. I would further add, assertions I’ve seen that Mark Kirk embellished or exaggerated his record are ridiculous - he is one of the finest Naval Officers I have had the honor to work with. His intelligence, leadership skills, and keen understanding of global affairs are an asset that the Navy and, today, the Congress are fortunate to enjoy.
1) From what I’ve seen, nobody has ever claimed that Kirk didn’t earn or receive those awards except Mark Kirk, who claimed he alone received a different award.
2) There is no doubt that Kirk has embellished and exaggerated his record.
Stop digging the hole and move on.
…Adding… Ben Smith has one of the better analogies that I’ve seen on this topic…
Mark Kirk’s clear exaggeration of an award — he did something along the lines of claiming to have been the MVP when his team won a championship — is winning him a real pounding in the local press, where his attempts to bluster through it seem to have failed totally. [Emphasis added.]
* Kirk didn’t tell the whole story
* 2d video shows false claim by Ill. candidate: Another video featuring Senate candidate Mark Kirk of Illinois making false claims of being the Navy’s intelligence officer of the year has surfaced as he campaigns for a seat once held by President Obama.
* False Military Claim Made in Past Kirk Campaign Ad (Update1)
* Will GOP swallow Kirk’s ‘unbridled ego’?
* Coincidence or cover-up?
* Giannoulias courts the Beltway media