Some supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign view her family foundation as a problem as the Democratic candidate moves through the primary season.
Politico reported that this has led some supporters to believe that the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation should suspend its events through the Democratic primary and leading up to the general election. One fundraiser commented that the Clintons should "relax" with the foundation work and give full attention to helping the former secretary of state win Iowa.
"Gosh, can’t they relax a bit on that work and focus on winning Iowa?" the bundler said. "But everyone is resigned to how they function, and presumes they know what they are doing."
While both Bill and Chelsea Clinton have been campaigning for Hillary in past weeks, they will have to split their time between appearing at Clinton Foundation events and supporting the presidential candidate. Bill and Chelsea, who serves as the foundation’s vice chair, will together headline a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) event in New York City between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary next month.
Recent polling indicates that Clinton trails her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), slightly in Iowa and that Sanders has opened up a nearly 20-point-lead over the former secretary of state in New Hampshire.
Foundation leaders have also reportedly had internal discussions about scaling back lavish events during Clinton’s campaign. Sources told Politico that Clinton Foundation CEO Donna Shalala indicated to staff last year that CGI might not host its typically elaborate annual meeting this fall, though foundation representatives insisted that the charity does not plan to cancel any CGI events this year.
The annual meeting, which is typically studded with celebrities and political power players, is scheduled to take place in September, seven weeks before the November general election. A June CGI event in Atlanta is also scheduled to take place a month before the Democratic National Convention, which has led foundation officials to worry about "media backlash," according to one source.
"CGI America in June in Atlanta will look too much like a pretend DNC, in a major Southern state, and they’re worried about the media backlash," the source stated. "Can you imagine–Trump would have a field day! And CGI’s annual meeting is way too close to the actual election to risk the bad press."
The foundation has also hired outside consultants to analyze how it can improve its events and programs.