I got to know Sid Blumenthal four years ago when he asked me to write a Salon piece about the decline of the Howard Dean campaign. He seemed like a nice enough person and a good editor. Over the years I’ve asked him for advice. I like his son, Max, a lot: Great guy, great progressive, and master of the gotcha video interview.

In January, a week after the New Hampshire primary, I ran into Sid in Rock Creek Park while we were both walking our dogs. Unsolicited, he asked me if I had seen the story out that day or the day before about Tony Rezko, or if I heard or knew about Rezko. (I hadn’t, at that point.) He continued to press me about whether I really knew Obama, but by the time we said goodbye I simply chalked it up to a guy who really supports Hillary Clinton and believes strongly in her and I didn’t think much of the encounter. But now comes this powerful indictment in HuffPo by Peter Dreier of Blumenthal’s activity behind scenes culling, distributing and trying to induce members of the media to run negative stories about Barack Obama. Dreier writes:

These attacks sent out by Blumenthal, long known for his fierce and combative loyalty to the Clintons, draw on a wide variety of sources to spread his Obama-bashing. Some of the pieces are culled from the mainstream media and include some reasoned swipes at Obama's policy and political positions. But, rather remarkably for such a self-professed liberal operative like Blumenthal, a staggering number of the anti-Obama attacks he circulates derive from highly-ideological and militant right-wing sources such as the misnamed Accuracy in Media, The Weekly Standard, City Journal, The American Conservative, and The National Review.

Politics ain’t beanbag, but the fact that Blumenthal is using the same tactics against Obama that he complained about for years when employed against the Clintons—and, worse, trafficking in conservative blogs and magazines to do so—well, it’s disgusting. When is Hillary Clinton going to wake up and realize that many, many Democrats who otherwise like her, support her policy agenda, and respect her commitment and experience, are simultaneously frustrated by her because of the people she associates with or hires, and their conduct on her behalf?

--Tom Schaller

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