The New York Times was out on Sunday with a story highlighting the Clinton Foundation’s donor list which includes many Middle Eastern countries that are considered hostile to the rights of women. The Times tied this to Hillary, who has positioned herself as a champion of women’s rights and intends to run on the issue in 2016.

Report from the New York Times:

It was supposed to be a carefully planned anniversary to mark one of the most important and widely praised moments in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political career — and to remind the country, ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, about her long record as a champion for the rights of women and girls.

Instead, as Mrs. Clinton commemorates her 1995 women’s rights speech in Beijing in back-to-back events in New York, she finds herself under attack for her family foundation’s acceptance of millions of dollars in donations from Middle Eastern countries known for violence against women and for denying them many basic freedoms.

This was not how she intended to reintroduce herself to American voters.

And for someone who has so long been lampooned, and demonized on the right, as overly calculating, playing up her gender as a strength would also allow her to demonstrate her nurturing, maternal — and newly grandmotherly — side to voters whom she may have left cold in the past.

Even her most strident critics could not have predicted that Mrs. Clinton would prove vulnerable on the subject.

But the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Brunei — all of which the State Department has faulted over their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues. [Emphasis added]

The department’s 2011 human rights report on Saudi Arabia, the last such yearly review prepared during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure, tersely faulted the kingdom for “a lack of equal rights for women and children,” and said violence against women, human trafficking and gender discrimination, among other abuses, were all “common” there.

Saudi Arabia has been a particularly generous benefactor to the Clinton Foundation, giving at least $10 million since 2001, according to foundation disclosures. At least $1 million more was donated by Friends of Saudi Arabia, co-founded by a Saudi prince.

I think I made this point in the comments a few days ago when we were discussing the Clinton Foundation. For many voters, this particular aspect of her charitable work may be more of a concern than the criticism of accepting foreign contributions as a conflict of interest.

On the one hand, you position yourself as a women’s right advocate and speak on the topic regularly. On the other hand, you and your family accept millions of dollars to your charitable foundation from governments which don’t allow women to drive cars. If the media doesn’t vet this topic now, you can be certain Republican strategists are taking notes.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I have never been a Hillary fan, and have pointed out why I didn’t think she should run for president. I’ve also said I figured she’d find a way to lose the nomination this time. AND I agree with her critics, who say she is over-calculating, and uses her gender to her benefit.

    HOWEVER, I think the current foundation flap is ridiculous. I just heard that Sen. Carl Levin is joining a law firm to help corporations find ways to undermine the government. That’s what retiring politicians usually do–use their insider information to gut the government from the outside.

    But Bill Clinton went the other way. His foundation has been fighting AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. They’ve brought AIDS treatment to 750,000 people, bringing first-line treatment to $1 a day.

    They brought together 150 heads-of-state, 20 Nobel laureates, hundreds of CEOs, leaders of NGOs, and major philanthropists to get 2,300 commitments for programs to help 400 million people in more than 180 countries. There are nine tracks: The Built Environment, Education & Workforce Development, Energy,
    Environmental Stewardship, Girls & Women, Global Health,
    Market-Based Approaches, Response & Resilience, and Technology.

    In addition to improving farming, clean water, and fighting
    poverty and disease in Africa, there have been job training and economic development programs in
    South America.

    Actually, the girls and women segment was not a focus until Hillary joined the initiative, so it’s ridiculous to ask what they’ve accomplished in one year.

    There’s a lot more about their programs and achievements on the Wiki page.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_Foundation

    I would not ordinarily do a “commercial” like this, except to show how very trite, silly, and disingenuous the attacks are. If you don’t happen to like a few of the HUNDREDS of donors, does that really destroy the value of the whole initiative?

    It seems to me that we should be smirking that retrograde governments are contributing to programs designed to undermine THEM.

    • I think the attacks are notable, at this point, because the scope is much wider than partisan politics. Some democrats are questioning the loudest.

      Also, the New York Times.. hardly a founding member of the vast right wing conspiracy.

      The issue has to do with the history of the Clintons and their propensity to live in scandal. Are Democrats ready to give her the nod and just hold on for the ride?

      • I do agree that the email thing is an issue–not because of scandal (which is the reaction to them), but because of their fear of transparency, and their hunger for control.

        The whole email thing was about wanting to do things her way, which can be scary in a democracy.

        But this foundation thing is just clutching at straws, hoping to give the impression of impropriety.

  2. It isn’t a matter of anyone “liking or disliking a few of the hundreds of donors” it is a matter of image of impropriety by accepting donations from certain people, or countries while in the government employment. Case in point when I first met my wife and we got engaged her employer the FBI investigated me to see if I belonged to organized crime. If they found out I did they would then have given her a choice……you can marry Bob but no longer be employed by the bureau. This article doesn’t deal with the concern of any pro quo to a foreign government however but TARNISHING THE IMAGE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WITH DOUBLE STANDARDS. That says a lot about where this nation stands on moral issues.

    • It’s BS. The foundation is separate from her political activity. The goals of the foundation are specific and clear. The fact that these governments have been cajoled into supporting programs that are likely to undermine them is–priceless.

      • Do you think Saudi Arabia (or whoever) is going to drop a dime on the Clintons if they aren’t assured that the money won’t be used to bash their government or policies? They’re not as dumb as you’re making them out to be.

        More like grease the right wheels and get left alone.

        In a perfect world, the Clinton Foundation is separate from her political activity. Here in reality, however, it is not.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-hillary-clinton-and-boeing-a-beneficial-relationship/2014/04/13/21fe84ec-bc09-11e3-96ae-f2c36d2b1245_story.html

        They are not separate activities, that fact has been documented which makes the missing emails all that more important.

        • In that article:

          “The Boeing relationship meshed well with efforts by Clinton to expand
          the State Department’s advocacy of U.S. economic interests abroad, part
          of a broader philosophy that has emphasized partnering government with
          businesses to solve problems.”

          So the Clintons get it from both sides. Dems scream that they are in the pocket of big business, and Pubs scream that only the GOP should “partner with business.”

      • Saudi Arabia gives more to charitable foundations than any other country. It appears they do not ask for personal, state, or religious beliefs before making an enormous donation to the needy causes. So, if you want to default the Clinton Foundation, you will also have to default the Red Cross, The Gates Foundation, etc. for accepting Saudi money. However you may attempt to judge the founders of these foundations, or Saudi Arabia, the fact remains that each has done remarkable work to save this planet and to help eliminate poverty.

        June 2, 2014 Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz received World Bank
        President Dr. Jim Kim and his accompanying delegation at Al-Salam Palace in
        Jeddah today. During the meeting, Dr. Kim expressed appreciation for the
        support and close cooperation provided by the Kingdom to his organization. The
        two sides discussed the World Bank’s new strategy aimed at eradicating poverty
        in the Middle East and North Africa by 2030

        June 24, 2014 Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
        Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz received Microsoft founder Bill Gates and
        senior officials of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Jeddah today.
        During the meeting, the Crown Prince was briefed on the Foundation’s charitable
        endeavors aimed at providing humanitarian assistance around the world. For his
        part, Gates expressed appreciation to both the Saudi government and the Crown
        Prince himself for their support of international charitable organizations

        July 8, 2014 Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz received the President of
        the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, at his
        office in AL-Salam palace in Jeddah yesterday. The Crown Prince stressed
        the importance of humanitarian aid and confirming the Kingdom’s support for
        charitable works around the world. For his part, Maurer praised Saudi efforts
        to care for people affected by armed conflicts

        July 13, 2014 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin
        Abdulaziz Saud has issued a directive to provide the Palestinian Red Crescent
        in Gaza with SR 200 million ($53.3 million), Finance Minister Dr. Ibrahim
        Al-Assaf said in a statement today. The amount is for emergency medical
        needs to treat the victims of the Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip.

        You can find a list of donations by going to the Saudi Embassy Washington, DC page

          • Nate…Do you believe that the United States has the right to tell Saudi Arabia (or any
            country) that they must change their religious beliefs to conform with our
            thinking? The United States track record on women’s rights is not pristine.

            • No, but I haven’t centered my political message around the rights of women while I cash checks from people who subjugate them.

            • Nate…I wasn’t inquiring about your viewpoint of the Clintons. I ask if You believe that the United
              States has the right to tell Saudi Arabia (or any country) that they must change their regilious beliefs to conform wth our thinking.

            • Asked answered, you missed it. Your question is an attempt to deflect this in another direction. Not following you down that path.

          • But the point is that the Saudis give more money to many charities, regardless of the possible repercussions. It’s pretty paranoid, cynical, and short-sighted to suggest that no good deed could ever be done by anyone who is not totally without sin.

            The world is horrified by our racial headlines. Does that mean the US should be barred from trying to help cure disease and poverty in Africa??

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