No matter how awful his opponent, Donald Trump during this campaign has shown himself to be unfit to win the presidency. You can’t offend almost every African-American and Hispanic voter, as well as a sizeable majority of women (among others), and then credibly claim that you can lead the country. I believe Trump’s foreign policy and trade proposals are far better than Hillary’s but at this point a victory by him — and that’s clearly not going to happen — would validate the hateful things he has said during the campaign, especially the past month.
Sure, Hillary’s campaign set him up for the Alicia Machado debacle, but he’s the one who happily walked into it, guns blazing. The same type of thing occurred with the recent allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct made against Trump by multiple women. “She would not be my first choice,” he said of one of his accusers, which is a terrible and revealing reply even if the story had been fabricated. (And I’m not suggesting it was; too many women have come forward to dismiss them, as Trump and his apologists have, as golddiggers and opportunists.)
Unfortunately, because Trump is so awful, many people have closed their eyes to the terrifying reality of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and upcoming administration. Perhaps when Trump is gone on November 9 and a footnote to presidential history they’ll be willing to rationally look at her record and see what’s clearly coming down the road. For now, many simply refuse to.
There’s still a romantic vision that Hillary and Bill’s political careers have focused on promoting “progressive” policies, when in fact there is no evidence to support that since they emerged on the political scene about three decades ago. The Clintons’ primary goals from the beginning were building a family-led political dynasty and accumulating extraordinary wealth.
Their unchecked impulse for wealth accumulation is seen clearly in the Podesta email released yesterday that included an attachment about Teneo Holdings, the consulting firm co-founded by Doug Band, Bill Clinton’s former aide and general shoeshine boy, and Declan Kelly, another uber insider.
I was traveling yesterday and didn’t have time to write about it before leaving; it looks like it got a lot of play already but take a look at the whole memo, it’s quite astonishing. It’s very reminiscent of the way in which Tony Blair, England’s Bill Clinton, turned himself into a walking cash register after he was pushed out of office.
Here’s the lengthy section on how Teneo, in its words, helped build “Bill Clinton, Inc.”:
Independent of our fundraising and decision-making activities on behalf of the Foundation, we have dedicated ourselves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities – including speeches, books, and advisory service engagements. In that context, we have in effect served as agents, lawyers, managers and implementers to secure speaking, business and advisory service deals. In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family – for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like. Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities (e.g., we do not receive a fee for, or percentage of, the more than $50 million in for-profit activity we have personally helped to secure for President Clinton to date or the $66 million in future contracts, should he choose to continue with those engagements).
With respect to business deals for his advisory services, Justin and I found, developed and brought to President Clinton multiple arrangements for him to accept or reject. Of his current 4 arrangements, we secured all of them; and, we have helped manage and maintain all of his for-profit business relationships. Since 2001, President Clinton’s business arrangements have yielded more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years should he choose to continue with the current engagements.
President Clinton Paid Speeches:
In support of the President’s paid speech activity, Teneo partners have created and secured the following paid speeches for President Clinton.
UBS – $900,000 – $450,000 in 2011; $450,000 to be paid in 2012
Mr. Kelly asked UBS to offer President Clinton paid speeches based upon a concept he developed with Bob Mccann for the firm’s clients. In addition to the $540,000 UBS contributed to the Foundation, Teneo partners have secured a commitment from UBS for President Clinton to deliver three additional paid speeches for them in 2012, should he choose to do so.
Ericson – $750,000 plus $400,000 for a private plane
After meeting one of Director of Ericsson on a business trip, I learned that they were sponsoring an inaugural event in China. I pursued them to invite President Clinton to China to speak at this event. I negotiated a fee for President Clinton of $1 million dollars to speak for two one-hour sessions in Hong Kong, which he did this past weekend. In addition to the $1 million speaking fee, I negotiated additional coverage of the cost of a private plane.
BHP – $175,000 in 2012
BHP is hosting a board of directors meeting in June of 2012. We encouraged them to do it in NY and pay Presdent Clinton through Walker. The offer is currently at the state department being vetted.
President Clinton recently turned down a 2 year, $8 million offer to become Honorary Chairman of Mati Kochavi’s new media business venture. Mati is a former client of Teneo who we were referred to through Marty Edelman. I went back to Mati and proposed a new structure without any business connectivity other than 4 speeches for $1 million and $250k to the foundation should President Clinton choose to accept it. That would also include any broadcasting of foundation events or anything President Clinton would like exposure for on his website. This offer will be presented to President Clinton in Walker speech invitations which he can choose to decline or accept with no role or relationship with the company.
Teneo cultivated its client relationship to help secure two paid speeches in 2010 and 2011 totaling more than $700,000.