Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Jimmy Breslin (1929 )
All political power is primarily an illusion . Illusion. Mirrors and blue smoke, beautiful blue smoke rolling over the surface of highly polished mirrors, first a thin veil of blue smoke, then a thick cloud that suddenly dissolves into wisps of blue smoke, the mirrors catching it all, bouncing it back and forth.
JIMMY BRESLIN, How the Good Guys Finally Won, Notes from an Impeachment Summer, pp. 3334 (1975).
The phrase is usually quoted as blue smoke and mirrors.