The one takeaway from the political scandals or gaffes recently, whether it’s Weiner or Akin, is that the more they talked, the worse it got.
Standard crisis management is to move to something positive. And stop talking about the negative issue. That can be tricky to do when you’re in the middle of a campaign, but when Rob Ford can manage to do it, you would think Senator John Walsh could too.
Instead Senator John Walsh managed to take a page out of Weiner’s textbook and made the scandal even worse.
It’s not clear how many voters would have really cared about the plagiarism scandal. If Walsh had claimed that he had outsourced the paper to someone, that would have been a grave academic sin, but he could have probably put it behind him.
1. Walsh got caught massively plagiarizing his paper.
2. Then he lied about the plagiarism. Like every plagiarist, he claimed that he failed to cite his sources, when he actually wrote a paper that consisted of other people’s work.
3. Then he pulled a Hillary and claimed that he survived hundreds of IED attacks.
While commanding the 1-163rd Infantry Battalion in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, Walsh survived hundreds of IED explosions while in a Humvee, he was targeted – by name – by Al Qaeda in Iraq, and his unit endured hundreds of rocket attacks.
If surviving “hundreds of IED explosions” sounds unbelievable, that’s because it didn’t happen. Walsh’s campaign followed up with a correction (which they call a clarification), noting that he personally didn’t survive all those IED attacks.
“He survived an attack in October 2005, while his unit endured hundreds of both IED and rocket attacks throughout the deployment,” a Walsh spokeswoman said.
So now he went from lying about plagiarism, a sin that most voters probably wouldn’t care about, Joe Biden got away with it, to lying about his wartime experiences, which some voters do care about, though Senator Blumenthal got away with it.
4. So PTSD…
Walsh told AP he was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq and dealing with the suicide of someone he served with.
5. No PTSD…
“I am in no way, no way, tying what I did to any type of PTSD,” the Montana Democrat said in a Friday interview with KMMS radio in Bozeman. “That had nothing to do with the mistake that I made. … I may have said that, if that was the thought of that, that’s not at all in any way what I meant or said.”
At this point Walsh just looks like a compulsive liar and the plagiarism seems more like a symptom of a guy who keeps telling crazy lies.
Considering that we’re on the second term of a White House Democrat who lies like most people breathe, that’s not extraordinary. And his official Dem successor was known for making up crazy lies that had no purpose or function, like claiming she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary.
But John Walsh is just extraordinarily bad at dealing with his lies. Like Hillary, he pastes over one lie with another… but then he takes it back.
Still the media pile on shows you what the media has carefully avoided doing with Obama. If only Senator John Walsh were the great hope of the progressives, then he too could tell crazy lies with as much impunity as Obama.