Lis Smith: Master of the Smear

Lis Smith: Master of the Smear
American Values 2024 | April 24, 2024

“I love to roll around in the mud.”

— Lis Smith

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By Blake Fleetwood, The Kennedy Beacon

If you want a political assassin, don’t care much how it’s done or what it will cost, and don’t want to get your “nice guy” hands dirty, Lis Smith, 39, leggy and often seen in sharp high heels and black pencil skirts, is your gal for the job.

Joe Biden had no choice. His re-election prospects looked abysmal, so he had to get the baddest duke around, and Lis Smith was it. A black widow assassin for hire.

Today, she has one main target: Robert Francis Kennedy Jr.

When Governor Andrew Cuomo was accused of sexual misconduct, Smith defended him for months to the point of calling up some of the accusing women and trying to convince them it never happened. In 2016 The New York Times accused her of “Fat Shaming” Chris Christie, an ugly personal slur that Trump picked up on 6 years later.

This is not a fair or balanced article, but Smith has been far from fair or truthful as a spinmeister, and maybe she deserves a bit of her own medicine.

Smith’s most notorious headlines were about herself in 2013 when the New York Post unleashed a slut-shaming blitzkrieg after discovering her affair with married former Governor Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer was attempting a political comeback after it was revealed that he had been consorting with prostitutes.

Cowed the New York Daily News: “Democratic strategist: Lis Smith goes from ‘Pro’ to ‘Bimbo’ in one day.”

“She is not your ordinary bimbo,” wrote the New York Post.

“The role I’d been cast in was that of a conniving whore,” Smith wrote in her memoir.

“Both of us had tried to get in bed with Eliot, but only one of us had been successful,” Smith quipped in her memoir, referring to former Mayor Bill De Blasio.

Smith freely admits to having had a fair number of “relationships” with co-workers, which were usually short-lived during her campaigns.

One Daily News story defended her. “It’s never the man who is the bimbo in the world of news. Instead, a professional woman with a personal life is more likely to be sensationalized as a ‘luscious gal pal shacking up with a sugar daddy’ rather than a consenting adult entitled to her privacy and dignity.”

Today, Smith is part of a multi-million dollar team of attack dogs assembled by the Democratic Party to block independents and third-party candidates from getting on the ballot. Normally, the major parties ignore insurgents, but this year is different, given Biden’s and Trump’s enormous unpopularity. They fear anything can happen.

Overseeing this elite hit squad is veteran Democrat operative Mary Beth Cahill. But Smith is the team’s most famous and most toxic operative.

Smith and Cahill don’t seem to be bothered in the least that their mission of preventing candidates outside of the Democratic and Republican parties from getting on the ballot is profoundly undemocratic and a threat to our democracy.

Smith just wants to win at any cost. ‘Principles are for purists’ is her motto.

Her handiwork in manipulating reporters has a long history and is evident in articles published in The New York Times last Saturday. In the story titled “Kennedy, Now on the Ballot,” Smith manages to convince the two so-called objective reporters to bury the newsworthy lead and instead interject extraneous inflammatory information into the ballot access news. She gets the reporters to repeat the already reported story that some of Kennedy’s own family members are supporting President Biden. The article conveniently does not mention that at least 10 of them work directly for The White House. Nor does the story refer to, or try to quote, the dozens of Kennedy family members, including siblings, who support Kennedy and are working for him.

Cahill, who was Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s chief of staff, called the siblings and managed to convince them to go public with enticements — jobs, a future in the Democratic Party, etc. – that only a president can deliver.

It was a masterful coup for veteran Cahill, even though she only won over 15 out of the 104 relatives. Many turned her down, according to a source close to the Kennedys who declined to be named.

The Kennedys are a tight and loyal family and RFK Jr. has frequently gone out on a limb to support his relatives. He supported Kerry Kennedy when the tabloids accused her of having an adulterous affair while still married to Andrew Cuomo. He defended her when she crashed her car under the influence of drugs.

He campaigned for brother Chris when he ran for Governor of Illinois and for sister Kathleen when she ran for lieutenant governor and governor of Maryland. For brother Joe and Joe’s son, even when Joe III was challenging Senator Ed Markey, who was a close personal friend of RFK Jr. It was a tough choice. Still, Bobby felt family always comes first.

RFK Jr.’s twenty-year campaign to free his cousin Michael Skakel from an unjust murder conviction is further testament to his deep Irish family loyalty.

Smith, whose skill is placing derogatory stories, also got the Times reporters to print that many of Kennedy’s former colleagues from the environmental organization, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), also support Biden. And, somehow, the supposedly objective Times reporters choose to ignore and not reach out to the tens of thousands of environmentalists, many from the Waterkeeper Alliance, who do support RFK Jr. [See our coverage in The Kennedy Beacon, here.]

Of course, Smith doesn’t bother to tell the Times that Waterkeeper was also asked to support Biden, and they turned Cahill down.

Both these widely promoted, misleading statements have Smith’s fingerprints on them. Normally, Smith tries to operate in the shadows, but in last week’s article, she is directly quoted, clear evidence that everything the reporters wrote – misleading assertions and outright lies – was handed to them by Democratic operative and master of the smear, Smith.

Smith was quoted in the Times as saying she wants to ensure voters “know about how extreme his [Kennedy’s] stances are and that he [Kennedy] was recruited to run by Trump allies.” This totally unrefuted statement by Smith, inserted into what is supposed to be an objective news story, not an opinion piece, is an outright misrepresentation. She does not talk about “his stances.” That’s not what she was hired to do.

Smith’s misleading “hit job” works and is picked up by hundreds of media outlets in the mainstream media and spread throughout the nation.

The black widow assassin is earning her keep.

Blake Fleetwood was a reporter for The New York Times and has written for The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Village Voice, The Atlantic, and Washington Monthly on a number of issues. Blake can be reached at

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