From the Clinton Foundation, a Heaping Pile of Corporate Bullsh*t

Global charity conglomerate deploys jargony word salad in response to critics

February 24, 2015

The Clintons just can’t help themselves. As Bloomberg editor John Heilemann said on Monday: "Their obsession with money … has been a hallmark of their careers." When the Wall Street Journal revealed last week that the Bill, Hillary, & Clinton Foundation had quietly dropped its prohibition on donations from foreign governments, many thought it was an especially sleazy move, even for the Clintons. The foundation’s initial response was defensive and evasive, agreeing only to reevaluate its acceptance of foreign donations "should [Hillary] decide to run for office."

The Clinton Foundation has since published a lengthier defense on its website, and in doing so has assembled one of the most impressive, steaming piles of corporate-speak feel-goodery bullshit in the history of words. The post, authored by Clinton Global Initiative CEO and former Goldman Sachs executive Robert Harrison, is appropriately titled "Bringing People Together to Find Solutions," and is riddled with power adjectives. The Clinton Foundation seeks not mere change, in the Barack Obama sense of the word, but "sustainable positive change." They’re not just trying to solve problems; they’re promoting "creative collaboration" to find "new, specific, and measurable" solutions to the "great global challenges" of the day. The impact has been not only "huge," but also "positive."

What does the Clinton Foundation actually do? Thanks for asking:

The Clinton Foundation works across the globe to expand opportunity and help millions of people live their best life story.

Okay, cool. What does that mean? Harrison offers some examples of CGI-sponsored activities that all sound great, but even these are beset by indecipherable word fluff. Corporations have made "Commitments to Action," many of which are "projected" to achieve results. Nike, for example, has made such a commitment, and as a result, "over 50 organizations have come together to bring their perspectives and resources to bear on a variety of issues."

So, clearly, the Wall Street Journal report can be readily dismissed as part of the vast right-wing conspiracy [emphasis added to maximize impact]:

This is the story the Wall Street Journal missed – the positive impact that members of CGI are having on millions of people worldwide and the evolution of the conventional philanthropic model over the past decade to a dynamic ecosystem that now promotes creative collaboration across antiquated divides. We are grateful to our members, who take on complex problems and often provide life-changing solutions.

If this is any indication of the kind of corporatized, brand-focused campaign Hillary plans to run, it’s going to be a long two years.