THERE HAVE been multiple articles recently about Hillary Clinton moving her base of operations to what is now officially the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Every article has focused on the drama behind the scenes or the swirling speculations about her potential 2016 bid for the presidency, all of which obviously bodes ill for the world, because we all know what’s behind the Clintons’ intent at the Foundation former President Clinton started. Nothing good can come of it, don’t cha know?
Not a single article has focused on the incredible feats of good will and progress the Clinton Foundation has worked to manifest across the globe, because who wants good news where the Clintons are concerned? It’s not nearly as dishy as writing about some ongoing feud between Doug Band and Ira Magaziner and the factions of people who suck off the Clinton teat, but are never responsible for anything, except talking to the press anonymously. Some things never change.
Who cares that the core of the Clinton Foundation is works to do good?
There’s work on global health, economic inequality, childhood obesity, climate change, health and wellness. The work continues, focusing on making kids healthier, with the Clinton Foundation global work broken down by regions of the globe. I offer links, because the involvement of the Clinton Foundation across the globe is too cumbersome for me to try to enumerate here, but if anyone wants to look it’s all laid out.
South Africa has made great progress in other aspects of care as well. Because of successful prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs, transmission rates between mothers and children have dropped from 8 percent in 2009 to less than 2.5 percent in 2012. Lastly, because of CHAI support for antiretroviral (ARV) procurement, we have been able to secure massive savings in tender prices, and in 2012 secured the lowest price in the world for a fixed”“dose combination.
Because of the support of so many stakeholders, including CHAI, South Africa has the largest HIV treatment program in the world. …
The latest article is from the New York Times and is an in-depth look at the mechanics of how the Clinton Foundation has worked pre-Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.
The feat of getting such a world renowned power couple under one global foundation roof is one thing, but when you think of their competing staffs, then add in Chelsea Clinton coming in too, you’d have to wonder how it could be done without the roof blowing off. There are undoubtedly different tribes within the Clinton offices, which the New York Times mined in their article, making yet another pass through the tensions and dynamics of what’s been written about innumerable times before. It’s yet another dissection of Bill Clinton on the way to 2016, where all eyes will be on his wife, who knows how this works, even 3 years out from 2016.
The New York Times piece led to an immediate reaction from the Fox News world, which labeled the Clinton Foundation “troubled,” then tagged it all to Hillary Clinton, who is just now coming in, using the financial difficulties and challenges the Clinton Foundation experienced during the great recession of 2008. Politico’s Maggie Haberman ran a story on Hillary’s move to the Clinton Foundation downplaying Chelsea Clinton’s role, which wrongly diminished Ms. Clinton and where she fits in, as the New York Times piece revealed.
While much attention has focused on Mrs. Clinton’s emerging role within the foundation, advisers to the family say her daughter’s growing involvement could prove more critical in the years ahead. After years of pursuing other career paths, including working at McKinsey & Company and a hedge fund, Ms. Clinton, 33, has begun to assert herself as a force within the foundation. Her perspective is shaped far more than her parents’ by her time in the world of business, and she is poised to play a significant role in shaping the foundation’s future, particularly if Mrs. Clinton chooses to run for president. – Unease at Clinton Foundation Over Finances and Ambitions
Haberman also reported what most have known was coming, which is that Hillary will be looking to academic possibilities.
If the Times wanted to tell the story without the cobwebs, at the heart of what’s going on is William Jefferson Clinton, who is the principle fundraiser of his Foundation that has worldwide reach, is not getting any younger. Pres. Clinton has always had a wider eye than he has organization to support and handle everything and now that he’s turning 67 next week, it’s obvious to consider what happens after him. It’s obviously one reason Chelsea is taking on a larger role, thankfully, with Hillary’s place in the Foundation giving a huge punch of energy. The rest gets down to larger than life personalities shifting to a new reality. This is never easy in the best of circumstances, but with an organization that has 350 employees in 180 countries and lives off of the steam of Bill Clinton’s charisma and political magnitude, it gets tougher.
But it always has to be about the dirt.
… And concern was rising inside and outside the organization about Douglas J. Band, a onetime personal assistant to Mr. Clinton who had started a lucrative corporate consulting firm “” which Mr. Clinton joined as a paid adviser “” while overseeing the Clinton Global Initiative, the foundation’s glitzy annual gathering of chief executives, heads of state, and celebrities.
[…] And efforts to insulate the foundation from potential conflicts have highlighted just how difficult it can be to disentangle the Clintons’ charity work from Mr. Clinton’s moneymaking ventures and Mrs. Clinton’s political future, according to interviews with more than two dozen former and current foundation employees, donors and advisers to the family. Nearly all of them declined to speak for attribution, citing their unwillingness to alienate the Clinton family.
[…] Mr. Magaziner’s management style and difficulty keeping projects within budget were also raised in discussions that surrounded the 2011 Simpson Thacher review. (One person who attended a meeting with Mr. Magaziner recalled his lying on a conference room table in the middle of the meeting because of terrible back spasms, snapping at a staff member.)
Mr. Band repeatedly urged Mr. Clinton to fire Mr. Magaziner, according to people briefed on the matter. Mr. Clinton refused, confiding in aides that despite Mr. Magaziner’s managerial weaknesses, he was a visionary with good intentions. The former president, according to one person who knows them both, “thinks Ira is brilliant “” and brilliant people get away with a lot in Clinton world.”
The Clinton Foundation has had many growing pains, ups and downs. There are people working for the Clintons who likely shouldn’t be, but loyalty goes both ways with the Clintons. We’ve never read that before! There are also gargantuan personalities at the center of it, bigger political egos that few foundations ever see. Conflicts of interest, fundraising, making sure everything runs smoothly, all of it long-time followers of the Clintons will recognize.
With Hillary Clinton coming on board it will most certainly get more scrutiny and the challenges won’t cease. There’s a news flash for you.
Chelsea Clinton’s role is going to provide a platform for the future, but will entail her gearing up so she can handle the business of the Foundation, which includes delegating positions to people who are competent and can handle the job. Ms. Clinton will need a lot of help, as will be Mr. Clinton letting loose of the reins.
The Clintons’ intentions are to do big things for a lot of people, most of whom become better for it. It can get messy, but if you take a trip through the Clinton Foundation website you’ll understand why Bill Clinton recently met with a small group of aides and two lawyers from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, according to the Times to do inventory on his Foundation. The outcome was “unsettling conclusions”…
For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.
After 10 years, it’s not like Mr. Clinton is ignoring that the vast reach of his Foundation needs more structure and controls. Oh, but the Times can’t write a story that puts Chelsea as the heir apparent to her father’s global foundation that has been successful beyond his dreams, as her talented work horse mother comes in to also aid the foundation, crafting a story of women taking the reins so President Clinton can do what he does best, be Bill, with fundraising and outreach where he excels.
It’s not like it’s news that William Jefferson Clinton has big ideas, but the structure he operates through often is too haphazard to hold his vision.
UPDATE [8.17.13]: President Bill Clinton writes An Open Letter on the New York Times report covered above.
This article has been updated.