(H/T: Hot Air Headlines) Another day, another scalp wound for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Sorry if that particular image is a bit much, but it’s a good analogy for what’s happening to Hillary Clinton with regard to the Clinton Foundation. To wit: scalp wounds bleed a lot and look as messy as all get-out, but if you can stop the blood loss there aren’t many long-term consequences.
The Clinton Foundation scandal cycle is already spinning off new complications. A case in point: After being the subject of a spate of negative newspaper accounts about potential conflicts of interest and management dysfunction this winter — long before Clinton Cash — the Clinton Foundation wound up on a “watch list” maintained by the Charity Navigator, the New Jersey–based nonprofit watchdog. The Navigator, dubbed the “most prominent” nonprofit watchdog by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, is a powerful and feared player in the nonprofit world. Founded in 2002, it ranks more than 8,000 charities and is known for its independence.
Since March, the Foundation has embarked on an aggressive behind-the-scenes campaign to get removed from the list.
This one is of interest not so much because of the watch list itself – after all, how many people in America have actually heard of the Charity Navigator?* – but in the way that the Clinton Foundation has steadfastly refused to admit that the rules for getting off of that list apply to the Clinton Foundation, too. The New York Magazine (NYM) article – which was pretty clearly not written by somebody with a grudge against the Clintons – noted that the Foundation kept trying to get special considerations – and that they did their best to avoid writing anything down**. Even the eventual ‘rebuttal’ that the Foundation supposedly sent (and that NYM somehow forgot to link to in its article) didn’t answer the questions; it said that the questions were irrelevant because the Foundation didn’t do anything wrong, so Charity Navigator would just have to trust the Clinton Foundation.
That did not fly.
I don’t want to make this into more than it actually is: after all, at best it’s a moderate embarrassment to Team Hillary. But what Team Hillary should start internalizing – or not: not works for me, too – is the realization that they don’t have the Magical Impervious Media Shield that Barack Obama still (barely) has. Nobody really likes their candidate, and a lot of Democrats kind of resent having to pull the lever for her in the primaries. They will, sure, but they kind of resent it… and in the mean time they, too, kind of enjoy reading stories about how awful Hillary Clinton actually is. Perhaps even more than Republicans do: after all, we already knew this.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Rhetorical question: most people outside the “nonprofit world” have not.
**I note this because the NYM article finds it unusual that Charity Navigator would not return the Clinton Foundation’s calls. …Of course they didn’t return the calls! The entire point of the exercise is to get the Foundation on the record so that Charity Navigator could show people the answer.