JUNE 23, 2009
The trusted Clinton aide who pleaded guilty to drunken driving during the 2008 presidential campaign will soon become a special adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State.
Well known for vigorously defending the Clintons through numerous scandals, Sidney Blumenthal, a coveted White House aide under Bill, is on the verge of becoming Hillary’s high-ranking special adviser. The position doesn’t require Senate confirmation, according to the news report that broke the story, which will avoid digging into Blumenthal’s storied past.
A journalist by trade, Blumenthal has vigorously defended the Clinton’s through several scandals, dating back to the early 1990s when a group of Arkansas state troopers charged that Bill had extramarital affairs while he was governor. Blumenthal used the power of the (poisonous) pen to defend Bill with articles accusing the troopers of their own marital infidelities as well as fraud and, ironically, drunken driving. He also viciously attacked the women, most of them middle class and blue collar, who accused Bill of harassing them.
When Hillary launched her presidential campaign, she named her entrusted loyal friend as a senior adviser who could steer her back into the White House. On the eve of January’s New Hampshire Primary, Blumenthal got arrested and charged with aggravated drunken driving after getting pulled over for speeding and driving erratically.
The top aide of the nation’s best known presidential candidate at the time—a New York Senator no less—failed a sobriety test, was handcuffed, arrested and fingerprinted. Blumenthal eventually pleaded guilty and lost his license for 16 months. The story made worldwide headlines and Blumenthal’s police booking mug shot was posted all over the internet.
As a cost-saving effort during the never-ending financial crisis, the State Department should perhaps consider using the infamous arrest mug shot for Blumenthal’s official biography as the Secretary of State’s new top adviser.
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