September 26, 2013

Thursday Hillary Bash - Richie Rich

Another item from Jim Geraghty on Hillary Clinton earlier this week, worth sharing.  This time it comes in the form of potentially good news for Hillary bashers, as her actions in this instance make her more vulnerable to suspicion of nefarious behavior.
The Clinton Foundation is going to be the subject of a lot of scrutiny from here on out:
Hillary Clinton’s announcement in May that she would be joining her husband’s foundation seemed, to outsiders, like the most natural thing in the world: A high-minded, charitable base for whatever the former Secretary of State might choose to do.

But inside Clinton’s circle, the decision provoked a frisson of worry: Clinton was giving up, some thought, the (genuinely) plausible deniability that could protect her from a charitable venture that had always had, up close, a seedy side.

The New Republic’s Alec MacGillis Sunday night opened what are likely to be three years of close public scrutiny of the very private, elite, and lucrative shadow of the Clinton foundation — and specifically, the question of what the foundation’s big donors got in exchange for their hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions. MacGillis’s article is a profile of the architect of what he describes as the “transactionalism” at the heart of Clinton-land, his former aide Doug Band, and his role in shaping a singular charitable enterprise. Band maintained, simultaneously, an “executive consulting” firm called Teneo, whose dealings are totally opaque, aside from having let Band spend $8.8 million on an Upper East Side apartment.
This might not seem like a big deal but the Clinton Foundation has had a lot of money swirling around it for years, and there are a lot of questions about a lot of that money.  Hillary offers herself no more arms-length deniability with respect to any suspicious activities.
On the other hand if they have started the process  of cleaning up the foundation, then why not step in and take credit for some of that white hat action?  I'm sure the Clintons see beyond the optics and are looking for angles on everything.  I'm not convinced though that the foundation will suddenly become squeaky clean and someone needs to stay on top of the details of what's going on with the foundation, just in case.

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