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.