Political expert: Plagiarism scandal doomed Walsh


Political expert: Plagiarism scandal doomed Walsh

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Montana Sen. John Walsh's withdrawal from the Senate race is making waves across the country.

NBC Montana reached out to top political reporters in Washington, D.C. to get their take.

POLITICO's Senior Congressional Reporter Manu Raju explained the plagiarism scandal completely derailed Walsh's chances. He explained once the news broke of Walsh's alleged plagiarism, the campaign mishandled the situation and failed to get a clear message to voters on why it happened.

Raju said first, they said they did not recall what happened, then said Walsh made a mistake, and finally said he should be let off the hook because he is a military man and not an academic.

But, Raju explained, even if the campaign had handled the crisis better, Walsh didn't have much of a shot to bounce back.

"This is a very, very serious offense," he said. "He plagiarized his key Master's thesis that was central to him to getting an academic credential that was a big part of his resume. And if he did not deserve that for falsifying his paper, then that calls into question a key part of his qualifications for this race. So, it was a combination of both the crime, as well as how the campaign handled it, that eventually ended his campaign today."

Raju said this developing situation has left the Democratic Party with a very slim chance of winning the race, and the Montana Democratic Party with few candidates to choose from.

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