The New Yorker Attempts To Make The Clintons Look Likw VICTIMS of the Big, Bad Doug Band
The other day we posted on a Memo Doug Band had written which appeared to give up the goods on the Clinton Global Initiatives involvement in Pay-to-Play, and the promotion of Globalism.
The news of the memo had come out just days before the FBI reopened it's investigation of Hillary Clinton.
The point of the post was that it is possible that the FBI was actually in collusion with the Clinton's to divert attention from the truly damning contents of the Doug Band Memo.
I'm not sure I agree with that take. However, I do find it odd that now the New Yorker is doing it's damnedest to make the Clinton's look like innocent victims of the evil and wily Doug Band. And they are using the cute, kittenish Chelsea Clinton as their version of a crime-stopping superhero, just trying to help her Dad out because the meanie, Doug Band was mean to her Daddy on the day of her Grandmother's death.
For God's sake.
From the New Yorker:
Band had the idea to develop the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual conference that kept Bill Clinton in a comfortable role: onstage, defining global problems for the powerful. In 2009, hacked e-mails show, Band was still setting up phone calls for the former President.
But, by 2011, Band had struck out on his own, as a founding partner of a new consultancy, called Teneo, whose clients overlapped with the Clinton Foundation’s donors.
“Doug is very transactional,” an unnamed senior Clinton adviser told Alec MacGillis for a profile of Band, published in The New Republic in 2013.
In the e-mails from November, 2011, Chelsea Clinton laid out what she had heard about her father’s longtime aide and his partners. Band and Teneo had been giving their clients free memberships to the Clinton Global Initiative and “‘hustling’ business” at the conference, she said.
Band himself had called Bill Clinton’s speaking agency and tried to take control of his engagements, according to Chelsea. Band’s allies were accused of taking “significant sums of money from my parents personally” and of referring to her father “in very derogatory ways.”
When Bill Clinton and others raised some of these issues with Band, Chelsea wrote, Band “yelled and screamed at my Dad about how could he do this to Justin and him, he would be nothing without him”—that is, that the former President would be nothing without Band. Chelsea was particularly distressed that this happened on the same day as the death of her grandmother, Dorothy Rodham.
“All of it makes me very sad,” she wrote.
But that doesn’t seem to be her only emotion. She was also, and more obviously, pissed. In his memo, Band did not deny that there was a relationship between Teneo and his work for the Clinton Foundation, but he claimed that it was the opposite of what Chelsea Clinton suspected.
Band was persuading his clients to donate money to Bill Clinton’s charitable projects and to hire the former President to give corporate speeches and serve on boards. He counted eight million dollars that he’d raised for the Clinton Foundation this way, and said that his efforts had so far made more than thirty million dollars for Clinton, and would pay him more than sixty million dollars over the next decade.
Band mentioned, as an example, a for-profit university system, called Laureate, that paid the former President $3.5 million to serve as its “honorary chairman.”
Band also described his partner Declan Kelly’s courtship of Muhtar Kent, the C.E.O. of Coca-Cola, on behalf of the Clinton Foundation. Kelly brought Kent to Clinton’s home in 2009 and subsequently persuaded the C.E.O. to make four million dollars in corporate donations to the Clinton Foundation.
It may or may not be significant that Kent, who entered the Clintons’ orbit in this way, eventually showed up on a list of thirty-nine potential Vice-Presidential candidates that John Podesta sent to Hillary Clinton.
Band was forthright about his work, but he also expressed concerns about what they call, on cable news shows, the optics. “I’m also starting to worry that if this story gets out, we are screwed,” he wrote in an e-mail to the Clintons’ advisers. He directed most of his anger at Chelsea Clinton.
“I realize it is difficult to confront and reason with her but this could go to[o] far and then we all will have a real serious set of other problems,” Band wrote. “She is acting like a spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues to justify what she’s doing because she, as she has said, hasn’t found her way and has a lack of focus in her life.”
Band and Chelsea Clinton are natural antagonists in their competing efforts to present themselves as Bill Clinton’s protectors, in ways that make evident some currents of class and social position.
Chelsea Clinton is analytic and aggressive; she has the tone of someone who has found and intends to remove an imposter. But there is something curious about how she describes her father, almost as if he were a victim. When she reports that Band “yelled and screamed” at the former President on the day of Dorothy Rodham’s death, Chelsea Clinton relays her father’s reaction:
“My Dad responded that he could not have this conversation with Doug and that he was trying to do the right thing by all.” She adds, “I cannot believe Doug did this on the day my grandmother died.”
On another occasion, she strategized with Cheryl Mills, her mother’s close adviser, on the need for a “strong” chief of staff for her father who would “protect” him from those around him.
As noxious as Band seems, he did some real hustling on Clinton’s behalf. In notes sent around before a December, 2012, meeting, he reported that the billionaires Paul Allen and Michael Bloomberg, as well as Don Thompson, the C.E.O. of McDonald’s, had all expressed interested in donating to the Clinton Foundation, and passed along their contact information.
Band does seem to have been distanced from Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, but the division was not nearly as complete as Chelsea Clinton wanted. In September, 2012, Band got Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Tony Blair to appear at a Teneo event, and kept them “loitering awkwardly in the wings” while he played a promotional video for the consulting group and Kelly introduced its executives, MacGillis wrote.
That Band felt free to trash-talk Chelsea Clinton, and that she failed to quickly dislodge him, says a great deal about how close he was to the former President, and how much trust Bill Clinton had in him. In her e-mails, Chelsea presented that trust as essentially misplaced, and her father as a victim.
But the Bill Clinton who has appeared in public over the past decade has not seemed a helpless figure. There is acknowledgement of this in Chelsea’s lament of “my father’s world.” The e-mails suggest that she reveres her father, and that she saw her role at the foundation in large part as defending President Clinton. It isn’t quite so obvious, for all of her anger at his surrogates, that she trusts him.