The next Lincoln Bedroom reservations in the next Clinton White House are already for sale.
That was the message Wednesday from a lengthy look at the Clinton Foundation on the front page of Wednesday’s New York Times.
The former first couple and their daughter, Chelsea, are aiming to raise a quarter-billion dollars for the foundation’s endowment, and a charitable contribution now will go a long way toward helping donors if the Clintons return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue four years from now.
The Times being The Times, it wasn’t put quite that way. Instead, from the headline on, “Unease at Clinton Foundation over finances and ambition” the piece tries to paint a picture of a charity trying to walk a tightrope between philanthropic finances and money-grubbing politics – and not succeeding very well.
“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,” The Times writes.
Pretty difficult, it turns out.
These are the Clintons, after all, a first couple that more or less openly rented out the White House to political donors during their residence in the 1990s. A family that all-but stole the towels when they left office, broke and with millions of dollars in debt because of Bill’s legal bills and now counts itself firmly in the reviled “1 percent” with income from speaking engagements, “consulting fees” and whatever other influence peddling the market will bear.
And with Hillary the assumed Democratic nominee in 2016, the market will bear plenty, the article makes clear, especially for corporations willing to pony up at the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual that’s supposedly aimed at getting pledges from business leaders and heads of state for specific causes.
That conference of billionaire businessmen and world leaders apparently needs sponsors, according to The Times.
“Today, big-name companies vie to buy sponsorships at prices of $250,000 and up, money that has helped subsidize the foundation’s annual operating costs,” The Times reports.
(Note the “and up” part. A quarter-mill is just to get the conversation started.)
There’s much more in the 3,500-word piece – backbiting, jealousy, and old-guard versus new (that would be Chelsea’s crowd) that make the Clinton Foundation sound a lot like the Corleone Family without a Kay around to make Michael feel guilty. But the bottom line is clearly the bottom line:
Hillary’s running for president. The Clinton Foundation is looking for money.
And honest Abe’s bedroom awaits.
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