Those unintended consequences of Hillary’s shattering loss in 2016 now echo through the Clinton Foundation (CF) as the family fund takes an unexpected plunge into the abyss towards obscurity without a golden parachute. Yes, the Clinton Foundation is reporting that 2017 donations plummeted an alarming 58% from the 2016 reporting period.
What must be more distressing to the Arkansas clan: This is the third consecutive year that their endowment has lost millions from former friends and allies. According to CF’s 2017 990 tax form, contributions totaled $26.6 million in 2017, down from $62.9 million in 2016, $108.9 million in 2015, and $172.6 million in 2014.
Perhaps the Clinton mystique is beginning to tarnish.
Eponymous to Nearly Anonymous?
Presidents and their families, for the most part, leave the White House to return to their roots and build their legacy libraries. There are those rare exceptions – namely Bill and Hill – who refuse to leave the limelight and continually wreak havoc for those who once heralded their very existence. And let’s face facts – the Clintons are not popular with their own people anymore.
Hillary’s list of transgressions is extensive: Benghazi, missing emails, pay-to-play schemes as Secretary of State, Uranium One, to name a few. But the specter of a potential Hillary presidency rearing its head in a new world is also spooking the foundation’s hefty donors.
The #MeToo movement social dialogue has unseated journalists, media moguls, actors, politicians, and entertainment industry power-brokers. And former president Bill Clinton is feeling the burn of reentry into an unprecedented and scrutinized world as his crimes against women are regurgitated, reanalyzed, and served with a bag of chips for new generations to devour and digest.
On the heels of the termination of CBS’s Charlie Rose, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Matt Lauer of NBC and the public humiliation and vilification of movie producer Harvey Weinstein, major donors are likely rethinking their pledges. For example, the philanthropy arms of Samsung and Exxon Mobile: What would once have been a hefty donation to CF has now been rerouted to other outlets for their millions minus the stain of controversy.
And that sentiment appears to be snowballing at an alarming pace for Bill, Hill, and Chelsea if trends continue. Leslie Lenkowsky, an emeritus professor at Indiana University, spoke with Philanthropy News Digest:
“Mrs. Clinton had a chance at becoming president. Since then, she lost. She’s likely out of public life. [Bill Clinton’s] reputation has been damaged by the fallout of the #MeToo movement, so the organization’s not as attractive as it once was.”
Balance of Karmic Power
In 2015, life was looking rosy for the Clinton family – so much so that Bill wrote a heartfelt message on the Foundation’s website where he used the phrase “If Hillary is elected” four times while discussing the future of CF and the many offshoots of the organization. But the intent was clear – Hillary will be president:
“Since Hillary began her presidential campaign in 2015, Chelsea and I have made it clear that the work the Clinton Foundation started should continue if Hillary is elected, but that changes would be necessary. While it would be presumptive to assume a victory in November, now that Hillary is her party’s nominee, it would be irresponsible not to plan for it.”
Yet, now the Clinton’s losing millions. From foreign and domestic donations to speech-giving invites, support has tapered dramatically. Are the wheels of Justice beginning the creaky grind towards righteousness or is her angry sister, Karma, enacting her own version of Providence earned?
“Men are not punished for their sins, but by them,”
For decades, Americans have had an uncomfortable front-row seat to a chilling view of events as humankind allowed greed and power to override goodness. But perhaps the winds of change are breathing life into a virtuous America, left to atrophy far too long.
Or as Elbert Hubbard, a 19th Century American newspaperman and publisher once opined about the natural laws of Karma, “Men are not punished for their sins, but by them,” a comment that today, 150 years deferred, encapsulates the fraudulent rise and magnificent descent of the Clinton Family Foundation.