Rob Riemen: It’s pub­licly known that you and Hillary Clinton are friends already for decades. Friendships in the polit­i­cal world are rare. What makes it that your friend­ship has survived?

Sidney Blumenthal: Well, I have known Hillary for almost thir­ty years. And I hope that when this con­fer­ence takes place, she’s been elect­ed pres­i­dent. We share com­mon val­ues, polit­i­cal val­ues. But also I think that these are deeply root­ed in our own per­son­al expe­ri­ences. And these val­ues we’ve defend­ed against all sorts of peo­ple who have used what­ev­er means that they could, many of them under­hand­ed, in order to try and destroy rep­u­ta­tions, attack peo­ple per­son­al­ly, to engage in what we’ve called the pol­i­tics of per­son­al destruc­tion, but for polit­i­cal advan­tage and gain.

It’s not only that that is a bond of friend­ship but root­ed, I think, in our com­mon devo­tion to advanc­ing democ­ra­cy in the coun­try. It sounds like a cliché, but there it is. 

We’re a year apart in age. We grew up five miles from each oth­er. We know very much who we are. So, I think that there’s a root­ed­ness as well in our com­mit­ments and engagement. 

Riemen: Does she real­ize the enor­mi­ty of the respon­si­bil­i­ty she will get when she’s elect­ed as president?

Blumenthal: I think…

Riemen: Given the state of the world.

Blumenthal: I think if any­body under­stands the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the pres­i­den­cy it would be Hillary Clinton, hav­ing served in the White House with her hus­band, and hav­ing been Secretary of State with anoth­er pres­i­dent, Barack Obama. There are very few peo­ple in American his­to­ry who’ve had that sort of back­ground who’ve risen to the pres­i­den­cy. And she would be a rare per­son, not only as the first woman but sim­ply as a per­son, to assume that office. 

Riemen: Good. Thank you, Sidney. I’m much look­ing for­ward to see­ing you on November 12th in Amsterdam.

Further Reference

What Will Save the World?, the 2016 Nexus Conference