July 13, 2014

Maureen Dowd savages Chelsea Clinton...

... or savages Bill and Hillary Clinton for not excluding Chelsea from their disreputable foundation project.
Why, given her dabbling in management consulting, hedge-funding and coattail-riding, is an hour of her time valued at an amount that most Americans her age don’t make in a year?...

If she really wants to be altruistic, let her contribute the money to some independent charity not designed to burnish the Clinton name as her mother ramps up to return to the White House and as she herself drops a handkerchief about getting into politics.
Dowd quotes Rick Cohen writes in The National Philanthropy Quarterly:
"Donors and institutions that are paying [Bill and Hillary Clinton] and their daughter huge sums for their speeches may very well be buying recognition and face time with powerful political leaders who they hope will be able to deliver political favors in the future. It is troubling when corporate donors give to political charities with a more or less obvious expectation that softer and gentler treatment will ensue in the future."
I assume they've checked out the legality of all of this, but considering the strictures on campaign finance that dog so many other political candidates, I don't see why this is allowed. In any case, there should be a political price to pay. 


Skeptical Voter said...

Clintons will pay no political price. Rules are for little people, and the Clintons aren't little---at least certainly not in their appetites.

Hagar said...

They are the Clintons. Strictures do not apply.

glenn said...

"There should be a ... Price ... Etc.

But there won't be. (D).

The only time (D)'s pay a price is when they ski into a tree or fly a plane they aren't experienced enough to fly into the ocean.

Birkel said...

As a Democrat, there is no price to be paid. This is the system the Democrats want: centralized power bought and sold.

Democrats always say Republicans are the party of "Big Business". I say "Fen's Law".

Jupiter said...

"I assume they've checked out the legality of all of this, but considering the strictures on campaign finance that dog so many other political candidates, I don't see why this is allowed."

Actually, the reason this is allowed is called the First Amendment. The question is how the Supreme Court could possibly imagine that McCain-Feingold, or any other restriction on campaign finance, is consistent with the Bill of Rights.

Sebastian said...

"I don't see why this is allowed. In any case, there should be a political price to pay."

Are you saying this to provoke comment or do you mean it? Not sure if this is the faux-naive Althouse persona.

Of course crony philanthropy is allowed.

Even if it isn't allowed, it is still allowed, because this is Hillary! and there will be no meaningful enforcement.

Yes, there should be a price to pay, but there won't be, as long as people like you, and others to your left, let them get way with it. Politics ueber alles.

Even if there is a political price to pay, for example because some people like you get just offended enough to consider voting Republican, the actual $$ and the buy-in from lefty institutions and crony capitalists make up for it.

Ergo: they just keep doing what they are doing.

Danno said...

Thanks for reporting this to the folks at Althousia, I couldn't stand to read a MoDo article without your furnishing a brief. Ridiculous that any of the Clintons make thatt kind of money for speaking, but Chelsea has nothing to talk about.

(from GoGo internet , DL 2008)

donald said...

It's amazing that a constitutiona law professor has no clue about the first amendment.

But here it is.

Read it and weep America.

Kansas City said...

Dowd is about the weakest thinker of any major columnist, but she is good at needling/mocking people, including occasionally a democrat.

The issues of the wealth of the Clinton's and how they have used the foundation for personal enrichment may have some legs. In part, because any candidate can beat Hillary by saying, as the appropriate time, something like the following:

"Hillary Clinton has been in politics for 40 years and, aside from making herself very rich and very famous, she does not have the record of accomplishments that demonstrate she should be president."

Jim Gust said...

Democrats never pay a political price. Never.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

This is the American version of German National Socialism. Business provisionally in private hands, but currying favor and doing the biding of the Ruling Class.

And some people, bless their hearts, still think Fascism is a phenomenon of the Right.

Jupiter said...

"The only time (D)'s pay a price is when they ski into a tree ..."

Actually, that was Sonny Bono, and he was a Republican.

Anonymous said...

I only agree with Ms Dowdy when she is discussing the Clintons.

Michael K said...

""The only time (D)'s pay a price is when they ski into a tree ..."

Actually, that was Sonny Bono, and he was a Republican."

I think she was referring to my namesake, Michael Kennedy . He was a sterling fellow with a few warts.

In 1997, the news broke that Michael, Sr. was having an affair with the family's former babysitter. Allegations were reported that the affair had begun three years before, when the babysitter was 14 years old, although Kennedy took and passed three lie detector tests claiming he had not had sex with the Cohasset teen until she was 16 years old, the legal age of consent in Massachusetts at the time. Kennedy was placed under investigation for statutory rape.[2] However, the babysitter did not cooperate with prosecutors.[citation needed] Shortly after the scandal began, Michael Kennedy and his wife separated.[2] After the affair, Michael Kennedy checked himself into a Maryland rehab center for alcoholics.[2]

Convenient. However,

Kennedy died December 31, 1997 in a skiing accident in Aspen Mountain, Colorado. He was playing football while on skis with several other members of the Kennedy family when he hit a tree.

Darwin Award pending.

Lance said...

Political dynasties are bad. You'd think we'd have learned that with the Rockefellers and Kennedies, but no we have to learn it with the Bushes and Clintons too.

(And also the Gores and Romneys, btw, amongst others.)

retired said...

Envy and spite are ugly up close and personal

Ipso Fatso said...

This is just an attempt by Dowd and the NYT's to appear independent and critical of their side. In the end, MODO will support Hillary!!!! for president. No worries.

Dagwood said...

Dowd = broken clock

madAsHell said...

This is Webb Hubbell's daughter.

Remember, "I am sterile", "I had mumps when I was two"......or at least Juanita Broderick remembers.

gk1 said...

glenn was referring to Michael Kennedy. RFK's son who died skiing into a tree because he was trying to catch a football.

The Godfather said...

It's not just the Clintons. Even in local and state government, powerful pols have "favorite charities" and other devices to steer money in directions the pols favor. You can't stop it (of course, like most unpleasant things, the Clintons do it worse). This is one of the reasons I oppose controls on campaign contributions and other political spending: Controls won't stop that kind of corruption, controls just create snares for catching the unfavored, and controls enrich lawyers.

Heyooyeh said...

In what way is the foundation disreputable? Please explain your allegation and assumptions that led you to make the allegation. Thanks.

dwick said...

"The only time (D)'s pay a price is when they ski into a tree ..."

Jupiter replied:
"Actually, that was Sonny Bono, and he was a Republican."

Actually, that was also Michael Kennedy (a son of Robert), and he was a Democrat. Of course, Michael's political career got derailed early on by that little episode with the family's underage babysitter.

Beorn said...

Just wait until the MSM hears about this.

Oh wait, never mind...

great Unknown said...

I'm sure there are some DAs in your neighborhood who are, at this very moment, obtaining John Doe warrants to investigate this issue.

traditionalguy said...

The Clintons have turned over their family political business (Have votes, Will Travel)to a white woman.

They need to adopt a racially mixed heir that can also serve them coffee. All white is just not right.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Bill assumed, then made, rape legal.

Diaz, Cameron, could tell you that.

iowan2 said...

campaign fiance laws?

I'll believe we need to worry about money in elections, when voters that vote Democrat start acting like money is an issue.

Clintons funding their own foundation with speaking fees. Obama refusing to run a presidential campaign on public funding.

This is not about lobbyists, buying influence, etc.. This is about Democrat voters refusing to hold their politicians to any standard of competence, morality, and behavior, other than getting re-elected.

To paraphrase the original author. The USA will survive, Obama, and another Clinton,(or two), but we can not survive the voters that continue to vote them into power.

Gene said...

I read an English writer from the 1700's who said on a trip to Paris a French lady sat down next to him at a public toilet and offered him her toilet-paper substitute--a small thin sea shell.

Gahrie said...

In any case, there should be a political price to pay.

When was the last time a Democratic politician was forced to pay a political price?

chillblaine said...

Children of former presidents should be off limits. Shame on that tea bagger Dowd.

Er, donations to CGI are tax deductible. Eliminate this deduction, President-elect Walker.

Jerome said...

And some people, bless their hearts, still think Fascism is a phenomenon of the Right.

The second international collapsed at the start of the Great War over the issue of nationalism. The third international (Comintern) decried the "splitters" (national socialists, fascists) right-wing deviationists. Later, the comintern resurrected the moribund label "progressive" for their allies in the west, and declared Stalin the world-wide leader of progressivism. Contemporary progressive talking points sound exactly like the publications of the Progressive Labor Party, an openly Stalinist organization of "revolutionary communists."

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I was shocked. Didn't really want to do a liberal rant but then I saw it grouped with something else possibly negative about the Clintons on Drudge; so I read it. This is really going to cut down on the quality of appetizers Maureen shares when she goes to a Clinton get together.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that that suggestion for a Darwin award is appropriate for that Kennedy. I remember thinking at the time, how stupid can you get? You go out for a pass, and hit a tree, looking at the ball, instead of where you are going.

Bono, on the other hand, was supposedly skiing in the trees at Heavenly, in an area where I skied a lot, when living down in the valley below the area. I have skied the trees enough for powder, that I can appreciate the risks that he was taking for the thrill that you get from skiing decent powder. And, Tahoe gets enough powder, more than almost anywhere else in the country - though the lake effect apparently gets Heavenly less than its brethren on the north and west sides of the lake. I will still take the light stuff at Snowbird and Alta over the Sierra Cement around Tahoe, but it is still a lot of fun.

Bruce Hayden said...

It will be quite interesting to see what Chelsea does if and when she runs for political office, when it comes to the family foundation. It is hard to believe though that she could be effective at such a pursuit, given her apparent complete lack of ability in those areas. But, then, we did see how her mother could buy a Senate seat, esp. given a press willing to help her smear her opponents.

Still, the foundation means that Chelsea, her kids, and likely her grandchildren, will be living the high life. Already, there are allegations of stratospheric travel costs. With a good stable of attorneys, I have little doubt that she will be able to milk the foundation throughout her entire lifetime.

Some foundations, like the one that Bill and Melinda Gates set up, can do a lot of good work. But, so far, the Clinton foundation looks like just another way to skim money and perks for the people who set it up. People get tax breaks for contributing to it, essentially buying influence, and the Clintons skim off a part of that as their cut for the influence they just sold.

rcommal said...

"Isn't it rich? Are we a pair?"


"Don't you love the farce?"


; )

rcommal said...

Sorry--my dear.

rcommal said...


"CHELSEA CLINTON never acted out during the eight years she came of age as America’s first daughter.

What an assumption. Maybe she did. Maybe she didn't. A public display is a different thing. A publicly reported thing is yet another.


FWIW, I'm personally convinced (on account of my own, personal opinion that is not whim-ful) that Chelsea-the-kid "acted out" as her own person at least one, definitive point in time, back then.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Heyooyeh wrote:
"In what way is the foundation disreputable? Please explain your allegation and assumptions that led you to make the allegation. Thanks."

Please give your name and SS#, Heyooyeh! Also the assumptions that led to make you to make this request!

rcommal said...

The Clintons were fiercely protective of Chelsea when she was a teenager, insisting on respect from the media and getting it. They need to protect their daughter again, this time from their wanton acquisitiveness.

Final comment:

How freakin' weird are these two sentences and also the final paragraph made up of them? That end to the Dowd's column.

Dang, Maureen. Your warbling is wobbling.

rcommal said...


Humor Addendum:

Maestro Carol Burnett

rcommal said...

To my previous comments (though, on account of moderation, as a general experience my comments at Althouse are mostly posted out of order, so perhaps "previous" doesn't obtain; eh, so be it) I want to add this:

An example of an urge.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Chelsea Clinton will be President Hillary Clinton's First Lady.

The Crack Emcee said...

Can Maureen Dowd "savage" anyone, considering it's Maureen Dowd?

It just doesn't seem possible,...

The Crack Emcee said...


"The only time (D)'s pay a price is when they ski into a tree or fly a plane they aren't experienced enough to fly into the ocean."

And the only time Rs understand the phrase "stop playing the victim" is when addressing America's black victims.

Otherwise, it's just bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch,...

Anonymous said...

I think part of the explanation for Hillary and Chelsea's continued popularity is that they well know how to embody the 'Zeitgeist' (I shudder using that word) when it comes to secular liberal humanism and feminism.

You have to give Bill Clinton credit as a Statesman; an embodiment and oft exploiter of many deeper trends and ideas in not just America, but the West even and what America 'ought' to be.

There is a bedrock of respectability surrounding women's freedom and much in the Clintonian worldview and in our culture that supports the foundation, despite perhaps even the Clintons themselves.

Of course, there's a lot in the bedrock of secular liberal humanism that just ain't so, but it forms a large and thriving part of the Western reef of ideas.

Depending on what the opposition puts up, I could see Althouse voting for Hillary pretty easily.

Titus said...

I am sick of the Clintons.

Clinton Global Initiative does some great stuff but the family can exit stage right-but unfortunately that will never happen.

Brando said...

It would be so nice to just never hear again from this awful, despicable family of creeps. Sure, they are doing what many other politicians do--sell "access" to the connected and wealthy--but they seem to do it far more than anyone else and in a far more craven way. These people--father, mother, and daughter--are trash and it baffles me that they still have so many supporters in this country.

I can't help but think their power is actually quite fragile if only someone ambitious takes a shot at them (as Obama did successfully) and ran against them in the primary without pulling punches. The Clintons are at their worst when the pressure is on--Hillary anyway--and no doubt she can lose the nomination again. Every liberal I know doesn't have much use for the Clintons, and would only vote for them if the alternative was a Republican--I realize the plural of "anectdote" is not "data" but I suspect much of her support is really just due to the lack of a high profile Democrat in the race at this time. Perhaps some obscure governor or senator will jump in and make the Democratic primary worth watching.

It's possible the GOP nominates someone strong as well, though it's hard to think of who that could be at this stage. But the conditions are being set for a Hillary loss--the media wants a real race so they get good stories, and much like Hillary's hawkishness worked against her in 2008 (a year when the Iraq War was hugely unpopular in the Democratic party), her family's crass money-grubbing and influence peddling should work against her in the anti-one-percenter Democratic party of today. Add to that the fact that her tenure as Secretary of State doesn't seem to have left any legacy worth campaigning on and you have a major gap in Hillary's armor.

I really can't imagine that she only faces token opposition for the nomination and then goes on to steamroll some weak candidate that ends up with the GOP nod--not with all her weaknesses. The only question is who would stand in her way.

Brando said...

"Depending on what the opposition puts up, I could see Althouse voting for Hillary pretty easily."

Why this assumption that Althouse would vote for Hillary? Her posts on Hillary have been almost uniformly critical. Sure, it's possible that this could change depending on what the opposition puts up, but that's true for any candidate.

H said...

Do Dems really support the Clintons, or do they just want to poke Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove in the eye?

When Clinton left office and there was much discussion of his legacy, someone said, "History will remember him as the President between the two President Bushes." There was enough truth to that to stick in Bill's craw, and that is why he has been so relentless for a third term.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Since we are talking about the Clinton's, how is Hillary not here guilty of breaking lawyer-client privilege?

Regarding that rapist she defended, she said he passed a lie detector test, then she laughed and said that forever ruined her respect for lie detector tests.

Why? Well, only if she KNEW he was guilty. How would she KNOW he was guilty? He told his lawyer the truth. His lawyer. That's her. And she just told us.

Anonymous said...

I said 'depending on the candidate' could I see Althouse voting for Hillary.

If there is a more socially conservative, or McCain-like candidate who might easily lead us into war, I could easily see an Althouse vote for Hillary against such a candidate.

Relax, and think about it. It's almost always the lesser of two evils, anyways.

damikesc said...

I want somebody to ask the people paying Chelsea to talk WHY they are paying her to talk?

She has no life experience. Her time on TV indicates she is insufferably dull. She has, literally, accomplished nothing on her own.

damikesc said...

I thought Chelsea tried, but failed, to care about money.

I guess she's giving it a second shot.

I'd love to see a breakdown of the money the Clintons pay themselves and take vacations on the Foundation dime.

D.E. Cloutier said...

Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are descendants of my ancestor Zacharie Cloutier (c. 1590-1677).

Other descendants of Zacharie include Madonna, Beyoncé, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, and Alanis Morissette.

Maybe Hillary and Chelsea should take up singing.

Link (Wiki):


Brando said...

"I want somebody to ask the people paying Chelsea to talk WHY they are paying her to talk?"

That's a good question. Let's immediately rule out "because they might be interested in what she has to share from her breadth of knowledge, extensive experience, razor sharp wit and brilliant speaking style" because that's out of the question.

This is about buying access. By spending money to get a Clinton to an event, you are signaling to power players that your event is going to have more power players, and perhaps get them a chance to get their name in front of the Clintons one way or another. This ultimately will lead to a chance to cash in on the graft.