Remember how in 1992, Bill Clinton went around telling the electorate that if they voted him into the White House, they would get “two for the price of one”? Sure you do. That particular promise still holds, of course. And that ought to worry you:
Bill Clinton sat for an interview with Bloomberg News on Wednesday to talk about, among other things, the controversy surrounding the Clinton Foundation and his wife’s 2016 presidential bid. And, in the course of that conversation, he let loose with this stunner: “Has anybody proved that we did anything objectionable? No.”
This is the latest in a string of statements by the former president that suggest he still doesn’t grasp why the Clinton Foundation questions continue to swirl and, because of that lack of understanding, remains unable to effectively parry them. Let’s go through the problems with Clinton’s answer.
First, there’s little doubt that some of the donations accepted by the Clinton Foundation have been viewed as objectionable by lots and lots of people. To cite one example: Allowing the Qatar Supreme 2022 Committee, organized to lure the World Cup to the nation, to serve as the main sponsor for a 2013 Clinton Global Initiative event. Qatar has been tied to not only allegations of wide-scale bribery of FIFA to acquire the games but is also the subject of widespread humanitarian concerns regarding the number of deaths related to the construction of the soccer stadiums to host the World Cup in 2022.
So, on its face, the claim that no one has come forward to object to certain donations/donors is just not right.
Then there is the fact that Clinton’s answer on the foundation seems to be based on the idea that he and his wife are operating in a legal sphere for the next two years. They’re not. They’re living in the world of politics — and the rules of that world are far different than those of a court of law.
How good do you feel about “two for the price of one” now?
Incidentally, why on Earth should I–or anyone else–vote for the putative next president of the United States when one finds that her fans are saying this kind of stuff about her?
LATELY I’ve been running into people even more put off by the Clintons than the nefarious operatives in the “vast right wing conspiracy” ever were.
They’re called Democrats.
I had breakfast with one last week. I’d quote him directly, but The Times doesn’t permit profanity.
He’s furious at Hillary and Bill, because they’ve once again created all these ugly, obvious messes that they could and should have avoided. He’s disgusted, because he has come to believe that they’re tainted.
[. . .]
. . . the Clintons facilitate a thrilling scenario only to pollute it. They come wrapped in shiny folds of promise and good intentions, then the packaging comes off, and what lies beneath are emails from Sidney Blumenthal, shakedowns of Petra Nemcova.
[. . .]
. . . A few days ago I spoke with one Democratic elder who ranted, like my breakfast companion, about all the ammunition that the Clintons had needlessly created for a Republican nominee.
He envisioned a flood of negative ads in Florida and Ohio about State Department emails, speaking fees and foreign donations. He said that this deluge could very well make a difference.
He was livid.
Now, of course, the same people who are complaining about the Clintons to Frank Bruni are also saying that they will vote for Hillary Clinton because Republicans exist. Two responses follow:
- If these people are really concerned about the damage that the Clintons could do to the Democratic party–of which they consider themselves proud members, apparently–then they ought to do what they can, however they can, in order to stop a Clinton nomination. And if Clinton does get nominated, they ought to vote against her in the general election, or stay home; the better to save the Democratic party–of which they consider themselves proud members, apparently–from suffering the kind of long term damage that the Clintons can inflict.
- Even if these people end up voting for Hillary Clinton, every single moderate and independent–you know, the folks who actually decide national elections, or at least play a big part in deciding national elections–ought to vote against Hillary Clinton. Her biggest supporters have basically said that they are upset and fed up with her and with the putative next first spouse of the United States. Why should non-biggest supporters cut the Clintons any slack whatsoever?
Oh, and here is one last thing to leave a bad taste in your mouth:
Former President Bill Clinton has made millions of dollars giving paid speeches since he left office, but he said on Wednesday that if his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, won the White House, he would no longer take money for talking.
How kind of the Clintons to offer to do this . . . now that they have hundreds of millions of dollars safely in their bank accounts. What a sacrifice.