Enough is Enough
by Mary Wakefield Buxton
Urbanna, Va.— It’s downright disheartening to read of the cash collection to the Clinton Family Charitable Trust that sucked in millions of dollars from domestic and foreign contributors while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State. Ouch!
The Clinton Family Charitable Foundation is set up to help the needy and has allegedly collected almost two billion dollars since its start. Mrs. Clinton allegedly had signed an agreement with President Obama not to take contributions to her family foundation while she served as Secretary of State because of obvious conflict of interest. This agreement apparently was ignored.
Who made these contributions and why were they made? Reason tells us contributors were not just stroking big checks to the Clintons for the fun of it, but were hoping to seek special favors. Were such contributions linked to any government contracts or business deals?
The Clintons have admitted they failed to make public all contributions made to their foundation. Why? And why were such exorbitant speaking fees ($500,000 and more) paid to President Clinton by foreign and business interests while his wife was Secretary of State?
Is the American presidency to be turned into a door leading to a gold mine of wealth and world power with past presidents’ hob-nobbing around the world seeking obscenely high speaking fees from those who want favors from government?
But let’s be fair. Republican presidents have been guilty of entering such doors and, as I recall, President Reagan did at least one multi-million dollar speech after his exit from the White House. At least at the time his wife wasn’t Secretary of State.
What is especially discouraging about the Clinton Charitable Foundation is to read how contributions are used to provide such extravagant lifestyles, high salaries, and amazing travel expense accounts for the Clintons and their relatives. Is it big business these days to help the poor? But perhaps not in the manner of Mother Teresa and other humble caretakers of the poor from years past.
But give credit where credit is due. Bill Clinton, in spite of his reprehensible behavior in the Oval Office with a White House intern, was a good president. He had an uncanny intelligence about foreign affairs and he was able to work well with a Republican Congress, which are two gifts sorely lacking in President Obama.
Mrs. Clinton has her strengths. She is shrewd, smart and practical. She would be an acceptable candidate if it weren’t for her one fatal character flaw—extraordinary (and apparently insatiable) ambition for wealth and power.
Contributions to the Clinton Family Foundation while Mrs. Clinton was heading the State Department suggest there may be nothing the Clintons won’t do to amass what they so desperately desire—more wealth and more power. But when is enough, enough?
To add even greater displeasure with Mrs. Clinton’s work performance, her decision to delete thousands of so-called “personal emails” casts even a darker light on her dealings as Secretary of State. For those citizens who want honest and open government (and millions of Americans count themselves in such a category), free of corruption and led by honorable leaders who do not try to hide their actions from the public, Mrs. Clinton becomes the worst possible candidate for president.
Yet, why should we be surprised at any Clinton behavior? We could have seen in the 1990s what was coming when the Clintons linked overnight visits in the Lincoln Bedroom to large campaign contributors. Mrs. Clinton also removed White House furniture when she and Bill left office, but later returned some of it after public outcry. Tacky, that splendid southern word, is the best description of such behavior.
An adage, “Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior,” is applicable. Granting overnights in the Lincoln Bedroom to big contributors was just a beginning. Their foundation is alleged to have hauled in $145 million from a uranium deal alone, which is alleged to have resulted in Russia owning a huge chunk of America’s uranium interests.
We can ruminate about corruption in government, but what can be done to stop it? Will there be an investigation of contributions to the Clinton Foundation? With such rampant partisanship today, does anyone expect Obama’s Justice Department to look into the matter?
Imagine all the billions Mrs. Clinton could pump into her foundation if she returns to the White House, or how high the speaking fees for the gallivanting Bill will soar if he should ever become “First Man.”
The Clintons should be retired from public office. They can devote senior years to managing their foundation, which provides them the lavish salaries and lifestyle to which they have become so accustomed.
But let the GOP also be warned. The first duty of political parties is to nominate honorable candidates. It’s just plain wrong to use one’s political office to amass great wealth and power.
Enough is enough.