An assessment of Richard Blumenthal, the man most likely to replace Sen. Christopher Dodd.

Previously published Slate articles made new.
Jan. 6 2010 3:29 PM

Just Call Him Senator

An assessment of Richard Blumenthal, the man most likely to replace Connecticut's Christopher Dodd.

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Unlike most politicians, who become more restrained the longer they serve, Blumenthal has responded to his years of frustration by becoming ever more feisty as attorney general. He pushed the Microsoft suit even as he was passing on the 1998 governor's race. He joined the AGs' assault on gun manufacturers as his potential appeals court seat was slipping away. Last week, as it became clear that Lieberman wouldn't step aside for him, Blumenthal filed the first major class-action lawsuits against HMOs, demanding that four Connecticut insurers improve their patient appeal process, pay doctors promptly, and provide better information about prescription drug coverage. It is just the kind of nasty, fun, popular, and questionable legal battle Blumenthal relishes, and just what he would miss if he ever does make it to the Senate.

Correction, May 18, 2010: This article originally stated that Blumenthal enlisted in the Marines, rather than ducking the Vietnam draft, and that he was captain of the Harvard swim team. According to an investigation by the New York Times, Blumenthal joined the Marine Reserves after receiving numerous draft deferments, and never saw combat in Vietnam. The Times also found that Blumenthal was not a member of the Harvard swim team, much less its captain. (Return to the corrected sentences.)

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