A few weeks ago, an Illinois Republican congressman in the midst of a senate campaign, Mark Kirk, graciously took the heat off of Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal by “exaggerating” his military service even more flagrantly than Blumenthal had. Kirk had said he won the Navy’s “Intelligence Officer of the Year” award, which he didn’t! But that wasn’t all. As reporters dug into his background, more embellishments were revealed. He said he was fired on the last time he visited Iraq. He wasn’t! He said he served in Operation Desert Storm. He was a reservist in Maryland! Now Kirk’s refusal to state any of his life experiences accurately has extended into non-military biographical details, like the time he “taught” nursery school in upstate New York.
The Times reports today that, though Kirk has frequently spoken about his time as a nursery school teacher, an administrator at the Ithaca church where Kirk “taught” says he “was never, ever considered a teacher.” He was just a work-study student from Cornell who acted as “an additional pair of hands to help a primary teaching person.” Eight other members of the church from that time, including two pastors, fail to remember there being a male teacher either. So what else has Kirk embellished about his life? Is he even really a congressman? Does he even exist?