I am Sidney Blumenthal. It’s true. I am. It is a pseudonym I created in 1974 after “John P. Plumbingman” had to go into temporary hiding because of a role he may or may not have played in the Watergate scandal, just like a previous nom de plume, Sinclair Witherspoon, needed to vanish after Teapot Dome. Hence Sid was born, otherwise known as “Sid the Kid,” “Sid The Yid,” and “Siddhartha.” Now, once again, the gale forces of history have blown me into the public eye, thanks to the careless utterances of an orange simian crotch-squeezer.
Revealed at last as Blumenthal, I stand at the center of the campaign, smeared by the Russians, the Iranians, the Republicans, the Jesuits, and the Freemasons. Well, it’s time for “Sid” to step away from volume two of a four-volume Lincoln biography, called “A Team Of Rivals That Included Me,” to fight back against this act of cyberwar. Make way.
My role in the Clinton campaign has been both overexaggerated and underexaggerated, and also not exaggerated at all. True, I’m friendly with America’s Family. I first caught the Clintons’ attention back when I wrote an article for “The New Republic” titled “On Second Thought, Maybe Jimmy Carter Wasn’t Such A Good President.” That afternoon, Hillary called me at home, where I was busy secretly spreading rumors to undermine Likud parliamentary candidates while also plotting how to secretly take over my neighborhood association.
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“Your articles are so incisive,” she said to me. “You really do understand how the corridors of power work.”
“Thank you,” I said to her. “And may I add that your voice sounds very senatorial. Secretarial. Even Presidential.”
“You flatter me, sir,” she said. “Can I interest you in a lifelong job doing secret opposition research on and spreading rumors about my political enemies?”
“Yes, khaleesi,” I replied.
When Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992, I was always nearby, whispering calumnies into the ears of his detractors, slyly making deals and undermining confidences while charging an excessive interest rate. After he won, he gave me a secret Oval Office antechamber. When he was done meeting with heads of state, I’d emerge.
“Excellent,” I’d hiss. “You have done well, my pupil.”
“Thanks for everything, Sid,” he said. “Care for a whiskey?”
“No thank you,” I said. “I must go into the White House basement and place myself in chains. For this is the night I transform into a werewolf.”
The Clintons even had an ersatz cabinet nickname for me. I was the Minister Of Slut-Shaming and I did anything they asked: Making prank calls to Dole headquarters, slipping cancerous agents into the Gingrich water supply, jogging with Vince Foster. In 1998, I was the original “check out sex tape,” slithering into action during the Lewinsky scandal, providing President Clinton with a definition of “is” and sending little notes to reporters like “I know what Kenneth Starr hides in his glory hole.” When the President survived, barely, Hillary pulled me aside. She said, “Sid, you’re our only source of information in all things.”
“You can trust me, Madame President,” I said.
She smiled, knowing I was her friend.
I’d be there for her.
For the next decade, I continued to slip about the shadows, subtly topping off Christopher Hitchens’ cocktails, writing a key 2006 Atlantic article, “Barack Obama Is An Easily Beatable Political Lightweight Who No One Should Ever Take Seriously,” and penning a biography of Eisenhower, “A Man Of Consensus Who I May Or May Not Have Counseled Under My 1950s Pen Name, Harold P. Watchtower.”
Now Wikileaks has dropped hundreds of notes that I wrote to Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary Of State, including one that reads, “As you said to me the other night while we were acid-washing your emails to hide the truth from the American people about your epilepsy and also how you are in business with the Saudis: ‘Benghazi was my fault, but I don’t care about the people who died because they are just people and people don’t matter — only power does.’”
I know what you must be thinking: yes, I was in fact merely quoting two sentences from an unpublished 700-word novel and asking for Hillary’s literary feedback on my fiction. That’s the kind of trusting relationship she has with her primary advisor in all things, me, Sidney Blumenthal. Nevertheless, this false story was disseminated by a Russian news agency based in Paris but run out of Syria. Then two hours later it came out of Donald Trump’s KFC hole during the debate. Trump is clearly a mouthpiece for Putin, Assad, Kim Jong Un, Brock Turner, Bill Belichick, and Mindy Kaling. I have nothing to do with the information or misinformation that may or may not have emerged from his lips, or anyone else’s, or in any article about the Clintons ever.
Or have I?
After all, who is Sidney Blumenthal? I am supposed to be Turkish. Some say my father was German. Nobody believed I was real. Nobody ever saw me or knew anybody that ever worked directly for me, but anybody could have. I shouted out “who killed the Kennedys?” ‘Cause after all, it was you and me.
You never knew. That was my power. The greatest trick I ever pulled was convincing the world I didn’t exist. And like that, poof. I’m gone.