As CGI Kicks Off Its Annual Conference, Rifts Appear In Clintonworld

- September 23, 2013

The Clinton Global Initiative Will Hold Its Four-Day Annual Conference Beginning On September 23. “The organization founded by former President Bill Clinton says Obama will be joined by the International Monetary Fund's Christine Lagarde, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and U2 singer Bono. The four-day meeting in New York begins on Sept. 23. The former president will be joined by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea. The meeting will bring together 1,000 business, government and philanthropic leaders from around the globe.” (“Obama To Speak At Annual Clinton Global Initiative Meeting,” The Associated Press, 6/21/13)

The Clinton Network Is “Almost Impossible To Control”

“On Some Level” The Clinton Network Is “Almost Impossible To Control.” “On some level, the network is almost impossible to control—Clintonworld is bigger than just the Clintons. ‘People do things in their name, or say they just talked to Hillary or to Bill, and the next thing you know, they’re doing something stupid,’ says a former aide of Hillary’s whose interview she sanctioned. ‘You take the good with the bad. Hopefully, the good outweighs the bad.’” (Joe Hagan, “Hillary In Midair,” New York Magazine, 9/22/13)

Inside The Clinton Circle, Longtime Aide And Founder Of Teneo Holdings Doug Band, Is The “Subject Of Considerable Angst” For His Leveraging Of His Ties To The Clintons To Expand His Business And His Role At The Clinton Foundation. “Band himself did not respond to an extensive list of questions for this article, but over the course of nine months, I spoke with more than three dozen people who have worked with him over the arc of his career. Inside the realm known as Clintonland, he is the subject of considerable angst. There are those who worry about the overlap between his work for the Clinton Global Initiative— which he conceived and helped run for six years—and his energetic efforts to expand Teneo’s client base. And there are those who worry about how some of the messier aspects of the charity’s operations could create trouble for Hillary Clinton, who has made the family foundation her base as she contemplates a presidential run. But the real cause for these anxieties runs deeper. At its heart, the unease with Band reflects an unease with the phenomenon of post-presidential Clintonism itself.” (Alec MaGillis, “Scandal At Clinton Inc.,” The New Republic, 9/22/13)

  • Clinton Insider: Band Is “Taboo – No One Touches The Guy.”  “‘Doug is taboo—no one touches the guy,’ says one person who has had extensive dealings with him. On the handful of occasions he has spoken openly to the media, he has struck an impeccably humble tone. ‘The thing I most enjoy in my job is helping people,’ he once told his college alumni magazine. ‘I have been able to remain behind the scenes, making a difference and changing people’s lives.’ But as Band attempts to build a business of his own, the methods he once employed discreetly in the service of his boss have started to attract unwelcome attention. (Alec MaGillis, “Scandal At Clinton Inc.,” The New Republic, 9/22/13)
  • At CGI, Band And Clinton Created An “Undertow Of Transactionalism” With Donors Whose Contributions And Business Interests “Occupy An Uncomfortable Proximity.”  “Bill Clinton now leads a sprawling philanthropic empire like no other. The good it achieves is undeniable. It has formed partnerships with multinationals and wealthy individuals to distribute billions of dollars all over the globe. Its many innovative projects include efforts to lower the costs of medicines in developing nations and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in major cities. And yet it’s hard to shake the sense that it’s not all about saving the world. There’s an undertow of transactionalism in the glittering annual dinners, the fixation on celebrity, and a certain contingent of donors whose charitable contributions and business interests occupy an uncomfortable proximity. More than anyone else except Clinton himself, Band is responsible for creating this culture. And not only did he create it; he has thrived in it.” (Alec MaGillis, “Scandal At Clinton Inc.,” The New Republic, 9/22/13)

Band’s Business Is “Essentially A P.R. Firm That Is Able To Charge Above-Market Rates” Because Of Band’s Access To Clinton. “Of course, it was only natural that Band would tap his existing network. What is striking is the extent to which Teneo’s business model depends on his relationship with Clinton. Band’s former White House colleague says Teneo is essentially a p.r. firm that is able to charge above-market rates because it persuades executives that Band and the ties he brings are an essential service. ‘If they were paying $25,000 or $40,000 a month for p.r., then $100,000 a month, from the eyes of the CEO, ... it’s not going to crush him,’ says the former colleague. (According to The New York Times, Teneo’s monthly fees can be as high as $250,000.) The longtime Clinton associate says that Band’s pitch to clients was that he was ‘able to fly around [with Clinton] and decide who flies around with him. ... The whole thing is resting on his access.’” (Alec MaGillis, “Scandal At Clinton Inc.,” The New Republic, 9/22/13)

In 2011, Band Organized A Photo Opportunity Between Clinton And Obama Over A Round Of Golf – The Golf Outing Included Band And Bill Daley, Not “Old Clinton Chum” Joe Biden. “As Band’s relationship with Clinton deteriorated, he sought public ways to demonstrate that nothing had changed. In September 2011, the White House made overtures to secure Clinton’s participation in Obama’s reelection campaign. The first step, it was deemed, would be a round of golf. The initial thinking in the White House was to include Joe Biden, an old Clinton chum. Band was involved in the planning, and he sensed an opportunity to raise his profile. According to people aware of the discussions, he started talking up a different arrangement: a game with the two presidents, Bill Daley (Obama’s then–chief of staff and a former Clinton Cabinet member) and himself.” (Alec MaGillis, “Scandal At Clinton Inc.,” The New Republic, 9/22/13)

  • “The Upshot Was That The Vice President Was Bounced And Band Got Into The Frame.” “The proposal had a certain symmetry—the current president, the former president, and their top aides. Daley expressed interest, and the plan acquired its own momentum. The White House wasn’t happy, but it knew that Band still controlled access to Clinton. The upshot was that the vice president was bounced and Band got into the frame.” (Alec MaGillis, “Scandal At Clinton Inc.,” The New Republic, 9/22/13)

“The Biggest Question Among Hillary’s Circle Concerns Huma Abedin,” Longtime Aide And Current Chief Of Clinton’s “Transition Office.” “The biggest question among Hillary’s circle concerns Huma Abedin, currently chief of Hillary’s ‘transition office’ and formerly her deputy chief of staff in the State Department. Abedin began as an intern for the First Lady in 1996, when she was 20 years old, and is, of course, married to former congressman and mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, of sexting infamy.” (Joe Hagan, “Hillary In Midair,” New York Magazine, 9/22/13)

  • “In The Midst Of Her Husband’s Scandal,” Abedin Moved Back To New York And Took Work With Band’s Teneo Holdings, Giving “Hillary Cover While Also Keeping Abedin Plugged In.” “In the midst of her husband’s scandal, Abedin stepped down from her full-time job for a consulting contract and moved back to New York to take work with Teneo Holdings, a consulting firm and investment bank run by Bill Clinton’s longtime consigliere, Doug Band. This gave Hillary cover while also keeping Abedin plugged in.” (Joe Hagan, “Hillary In Midair,” New York Magazine, 9/22/13)
  • Clinton Insider, On Abedin’s Dual Role: “It’s Business As Usual.” “‘It’s business as usual,’ says a Clinton insider. ‘Keep your circle of advisers small, and then you structure things in a way that makes it economically possible for your close advisers to sustain themselves.’” (Joe Hagan, “Hillary In Midair,” New York Magazine, 9/22/13)

Clinton Aides And Insiders Are Plagued By Conflict And Rifts

Many Clinton Aides Say The “Ready For Hillary” Super PAC Is A “Rogue Operation Of Questionable Benefit.” “To harness some of the noise—what some Clinton people called ‘the energy’—a faction has converged around the Ready for Hillary super-PAC started by a former 2008 campaign aide named Adam Parkhomenko. Launched early this year, it has appeared to many observers to be an informal satellite of Hillary’s larger designs for the White House, but her aides say it’s a rogue operation of questionable benefit. ‘There is nothing they are doing that couldn’t have waited a year,’ says one. ‘Not a single fucking thing.’” (Joe Hagan, “Hillary In Midair,” New York Magazine, 9/22/13)

When Hillary Clinton And Chelsea Clinton Were Added To The Clinton Foundation, “Some Of Bill Clinton’s Staff At The Foundation Were Unhappy,” Especially With “The Decision To Include Hillary And Chelsea In The Name Of It.” “In Chelsea’s view, the foundation started by Band had become sprawling and inefficient, threatened by unchecked spending and conflicts of interest, an extension of her father’s woolly style. In 2012, a New York Post story suggested impropriety in Band’s dual role, forcing Clinton to put a bit of distance between himself and Teneo. … In a report this summer, the Times claimed the foundation operated at a deficit and was vulnerable to conflicts of interest related to Teneo Holdings—which telegraphed the message that there was a new sheriff. Chelsea, says a Hillary loyalist, ‘has taken a chain saw to that organization. She has not allowed these old bubbas to deal with this.’ Naturally, some of Bill Clinton’s staff at the foundation were unhappy with Chelsea’s arrival, especially the decision to include Hillary and Chelsea in the name of it.” (Joe Hagan, “Hillary In Midair,” New York Magazine, 9/22/13)

  • “Chelsea’s Arrival Was A Clear If Unspoken Critique Of Doug Band, Who’d Long Been Bill Clinton’s Gatekeeper In His Post-Presidential Life.” (Joe Hagan, “Hillary In Midair,” New York Magazine, 9/22/13)

“Tensions Simmered Between Band And Chelsea Clinton, Who Has Assumed A More Active Role In What Is Now Officially The Bill, Hillary, And Chelsea Clinton Foundation.” “Tensions simmered between Band and Chelsea Clinton, who has assumed a more active role in what is now officially the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Chelsea, who once felt only fondness for Band as a trusted member of her family’s circle, came to worry that the overlap between the foundation and Band’s business interests could backfire on the Clintons. Podesta, who came in to put the foundation’s house in order in 2011, says, of the grumbling about Band: ‘There was a kind of capacity issue. You can’t do everything.’” (Alec MaGillis, “Scandal At Clinton Inc.,” The New Republic, 9/22/13)

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