No, Face the Nation, we shouldn’t shut the Clinton Foundation down

New York Times Magazine’s Mark Leibovich was on Face the Nation today, talking about the Clinton Foundation and the controversy over the error-riddled Associated Press story that I reported on a few days ago.

At one point during the show, Leibovich asked, blithely, why Bill and Hillary Clinton don’t simply shut their foundation down and let the Gates Foundation take over its responsibilities?

After all, Leibovich notes, it would make things so much easier for the Clintons. So why not simply do it?

Leibovich answers his own question: Clearly the Clintons are refusing to shut down their Foundation because of a sense of “entitlement” and “false confidence.”

Or maybe the Clinton Foundation provides 11.8 million people with AIDS with lifesaving anti-retroviral drugs — including 800,000 children — have brought the price of malaria drugs down 90% for 12 million people, and has prevented 50,000 child deaths every year in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Malawi.

That’s why Hillary and Bill Clinton don’t just shut the Foundation down, and hope that the Gates Foundation can fill the gaps. Because perhaps — just perhaps — they actually care about the lives of the nearly 12 million people with AIDS, and the 12 million people with Malaria, and the 50,000 kids per year that the Foundation saves.

What is so frustrating with Leibovich’s analysis is the assumption that per se the Clintons are motivated by some kind of ill-will, or at the very least a tragic character flaw. Never is consideration given to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, they haven’t shut their billion dollar foundation down because it saves lives, and they care.

Not to mention, Hillary hasn’t even won the election yet — should she really risk the survival of the foundation over the mere possibility that she wins in November? You don’t see Donald Trump divesting from all of his business ventures, lest he win.

Of course, in the end, Bill and Hillary get blamed because they’re Bill and Hillary. Had they decided this week to shutter the Clinton Foundation immediately, the pundits would have charged them with incredible hubris. After all, they’d argue, shutting down the Foundation now means Hillary is just assuming she’s going to win in November! Typical Clinton arrogance!

And in fact, something similar happened last week when Bill Clinton said that if Hillary wins, the Foundation will no longer accept corporate or foreign donations. What was the response? The media and pundits asked why the Clintons were waiting until November; and they added, wasn’t this an admission by the Clintons that there is a problem? So why didn’t Hillary do this years ago when she was Secretary?

The really lesson here is that there’s no winning when you’re Clinton.

Sign our petition demanding AP correct its error-riddled story about the Clinton Foundation.

And please donate to help support my work between now and the election.

Thanks so much, JOHN!

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And I appeared on Joy Reid’s show on MSNBC recently to talk about this issue. You can watch a portion of my segment here:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • DoverBill

    Anyone remember when we used to rely on the AP for unbiased news?

  • gratuitous

    Gosh, if only the hosts of these programs had some kind of access to information about what the Clinton Foundation does, so they could ask a follow-up question like, “And what happens when the Clinton Foundation shuts down as you suggest, and its beneficiaries lose the medications that are keeping them alive? There wouldn’t be a seamless transition to any other outfit, you must know that. So what do people do? Starve? Die of a preventable illness? Just be left to the ravages of poverty, disease, and malnutrition?”

    But then, the hosts would have to be some kind of super looking-stuff-up kind of person, and who could possibly have that sort of information at their fingertips. So heartlessly cruel folks like Leibovich just have to be allowed to spew their hatred unopposed, or the Ghost of David Broder would haunt us for all eternity.

  • 2patricius2

    After I made my initial remark earlier today, it occurred to me that those who want the Clinton Foundation to shut down for cosmetic purposes, are actually writing off people from other countries who have HIV. They want those with HIV to be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. We have seen enough of that in the past. We saw it full force in the Reagan administration. The disease spread and untold numbers of people died as a result.

  • 2patricius2

    In listening to the various talking heads that say they should shut down the Foundation, I wonder if the talking heads have ever really looked at what the Foundation does and how it is rated. But then, how much do most talking heads know or care about anything other than their own voices and getting their own faces on the air, and money for their appearances in the bank….

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  • Bookbinder

    John, there would no problem whatsoever with the foundation if they simply transformed it into a campaign finance organization, because then she could meet with any of the donors at any time without controversy. Has Mike Pence not met with any of his high $value donors? Has ANYBODY in Congress not not met with their donors, from which they benefit directly? And they attack Clinton for helping fund raise for a charitable organization? This is nuts. And this is just another example of the double standard the AP and many others subject the female candidate to.

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