CNN's David Gergen on Seth Moulton, Midterms

The following is an excerpt from David Gergen's column, Vote for Tomorrow's Leaders:

For Seth, the call to service came from the U.S. Marine Corps, where he signed up as an infantry officer -- "it's a good way to give back," he told me, "and very good leadership training." As America went to war in the Middle East, off he went with his troops on the first wave into Iraq (an invasion he disagreed with). Then a second and third tours, all in danger zones.

Thankfully, he came home safely and was preparing to pursue concurrent degrees at the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School. His days in uniform seemed over. But Gen. David Petraeus was then named commander of all forces in Iraq and appealed to him to put his uniform back on: he wanted Seth for the surge. Off he went to a fourth tour -- not in the safety of the Green Zone but south of Baghdad amid more danger.

Moulton did eventually come home and earned those two additional Harvard degrees. Investment banks tried to recruit him after business school; he went instead to a start-up in Texas trying to build high-speed rail between Dallas and Houston. Then calls started up from Democrats, asking him to run for Congress back home on the North Shore of Massachusetts against an incumbent Democrat dogged by controversies.

He took up the challenge and against all odds -- he started with virtually no name recognition and no money -- he won a huge upset victory this September. No one had unseated a Democratic incumbent in Massachusetts for more than 20 years.

He is now locked in what may be a very close race this Tuesday -- Republicans have poured in buckets full of money in closing days. But out of the blue, the Boston Globe broke a story that has everyone buzzing: the Globe had repeatedly demanded copies of his military record from his campaign to see if he had been lying about his service, as so many other candidates have. Finally, the paper forced the campaign to fork over the records: lo and behold it turned out Moulton had downplayed his record, never telling voters he had won two military medals for heroism. He hadn't even told his parents! Marines don't like to brag, he said.

Is that the hint of a new chapter opening in American politics? One can only wish.

Read the entire column here.