It appears that the “exclusive” ratfking arrangement entered into by The New York Times andWashington Post has brought us all back to the Mena Airport again, and that it has done so by strict application of the Clinton Rules, first devised in the mid-1990’s, as the nation’s elite political press turned laundering oppo research into a smoothly running machine. The very first Clinton Rule, established by most of the original reporting into the Whitewater non-scandal, is that if you can blow enough smoke, you can say there’s fire. The Post has a fine example of the modern application of the rule this morning.
Bill Clinton was paid at least $26 million in speaking fees by companies and organizations that are also major donors to the foundation he created after leaving the White House, according to a Washington Post analysis of public records and foundation data. The amount, about one-quarter of Clinton’s overall speaking income between 2001 and 2013, demonstrates how closely intertwined Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable work has become with their growing personal wealth.
First of all, holy hell. A hundred million bucks just for giving speeches? I am so in the wrong damn racket. However, a little later on, we discover the first Clinton Rule in operation.
The Clintons’ relationships with major funders present an unusual political challenge for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Now that she has formally entered the presidential race, the family may face political pressure and some legal requirements to provide further details of their personal finances and those of the foundation, giving voters a clearer view of the global network of patrons that have supported the Clintons and their work over the past 15 years.
As best I can trace the lines of the conspiracy as it is taking shape, some of the countries and patrons of the Clinton Global Initiative may also have paid Bill Clinton the big money to talk to them. There’s a bit of innuendo to the effect that the Clintons may have been commingling Initiative money with their own. However, if Bill’s piling up $100 mil just for talking, and the man loves to talk, then they hardly seem to have to raid the cookie jar. But the basic thrust is that these countries and patrons one day may seek the favors of President Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The multiple avenues through which the Clintons and their causes have accepted financial support have provided a variety of ways for wealthy interests in the United States and abroad to build friendly relations with a potential future president.
You’re kidding. Wealthy interests might use their wealth to “build friendly relations” with politicians? In 2015? Has anyone told Anthony Kennedy? He might plotz.
(This, by the way, is Clinton Rule No. 2 — what is business as usual for every politician since Cato is a work of dark magic when practiced by either Clinton.)
The flow of money also gives political opponents an opportunity to argue that Hillary Clinton would face potential conflicts of interest should she win the White House. Though she did not begin delivering paid speeches or join the foundation until 2013, upon ending her tenure as secretary of state, the proceeds from her husband’s work benefited them both.
“Political opponents” would have argued this had Ms. Rodham Clinton spent her pre-candidate career working with the Poor Clares. That’s why someone’s political opponents are generally found in opposition to them. That’s also why the Post formalized its relationship with a ratfker in the first place.
It looks as though the CGI, and the speaking fees, are going to be this cycle’s Whitewater, which brings us to the application of Clinton Rule No. 3 — if you have blown enough smoke, you then can claim that there is a “climate” of fire. Exhibit A here are the #inevitablehotpolitixtakez from Ron (Leadership!) Fournier, former Karl Rove life coach.
Gennifer Flowers. Cattle futures. The White House travel office. Rose Law Firm files. The Lincoln Bedroom. Monica Lewinsky. And now, the Clinton Foundation. What ties these stories together is the predictable, paint-by-numbers response from the Bill and Hillary Clinton political operation.
Actually, what ties five of the seven examples cited there together is the fact that they are absolute bullshit. (And the Gennifer Flowers business is more than a quarter-bullshit itself. Have we all forgotten that Ms. Flowers wrote about having had assignations with Bill Clinton in a Little Rock hotel that hadn’t been built yet?) Don’t take my word for it. Take Kenneth Starr’s. On November 19,1998, he appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and admitted that everything he’d investigated save the affair with Monica Lewinsky came to nothing. Barney Frank had a little fun with him.