Skip to comments.Bill Clinton Can Still Bag 'Em
Posted on 06/23/2007 1:00:41 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
Former President May Still Be Ultimate Power Broker
(CBS) HARLEM -- At about 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, 13 floors above 125th Street off Fifth in Harlem, the former President of the United States walks into a packed double conference-sized room with not enough room on the riser in the back for all the TV cameras. And only two or three of the cameras are from local news or the usual networks. Many are from business outlets, and half are from international news agencies, particularly outfits that cover Latin America.
Because standing there with Mr. Clinton are Frank Giustra, one of the wealthiest men in Canada (or North America, for that matter); Carlos Slim Helu, the third richest man in the world; and Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank. Folks, the money in that room made even seen-it-all reporters blink.
The reason why they were at Clintons offices was because they are kicking in one huge truckload of bills to the Clinton Foundation to jump-start a program they are calling the Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative. Or, CGSGI.
Why these otherwise smart guys come up with names and initials that make a persons head hurt and their eyes glaze over is a mystery of life. But the idea is to fight a regions historic poverty (in this case, Latin America; starting point: Colombia) by using a ton of money to build business from the ground up, rather than imposing a structure from the top down. Using the development of largely still-untapped natural resources of Latin America (energy, for example) as a kind of collateral to finance the kind of social programs needed to close the gap (education, health, etc).
Mr. Giustra, whos become close to Clinton in the past two years, traveling with him around the world as the former president has embarked on a series of philanthropic endeavors around the world that have rivaled the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations work, brings a particular expertise to the table. He is one of Canadas leading mining entrepreneurs (he also started Lions Gate Entertainment, now the second-largest independent movie studio in the world.
Think American Psycho, Monsters Ball, The Cooler, Saw, Fahrenheit 9/11, Hotel Rwanda, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Crash, Hostel, Away With Her, and even Showtimes critically acclaimed series Weeds. You get the idea). So he knows natural resources. And his contacts in that industry mean he was able to announce a slew of similar corporations are coming on board. To show he is serious, he is donating $100 million to the project. And, half of what he makes each year.
Joining this is Mr. Helu, who is Mexicos leading telecommunications entrepreneur. And, the third richest man in the world, according to Forbes. His empire, by the way, does not stop at owning 90 percent of the telephone and related businesses in Mexico. He also owns CompUSA (though he is looking to move that), the third largest Internet Service Provider in the States (Prodigy), and Saks Fifth Avenue, among other businesses inside the States. He is matching Giustras $100 million donation to the Clinton Foundation for this Sustainable Growth project with $100 million of his own.
And what they get by throwing in with Bill is the chance for some of his stardust to rub off. Whatever you think about him politically, Mr. Clinton fills the room. I have seen Republicans who absolutely loath him turn into rock-star fans when he works the room. He has access around the world that even these uber-capitalists envy. And, he adds that cachet of doing some good. Not some Band-Aid approach, they say; but something a businessman could understand.
After about 26 minutes of remarks from the four men (as Clinton said about Mr. Moreno, whose personal wealth is not on a par with Helu or Giustra, his contacts throughout Latin America are an asset. As well as: hes got a bank.) it was time for questions and answers. And heres where the ex-President took off. Because after two questions about CGSGI someone asked about the Sopranos parody the Hillary campaign posted on the Internet that has become a mini-sensation. How did that idea come about?
I dont really know somebody who works for Hillary you know, it really shows you about the Internet her campaign thought it would be a great way of introducing their (campaign) song. And tapping into all that energy. Thats the great thing about YouTube and whats going on with the Internet, all that mass-participation democracy I had a lot of fun doing it. But basically it was just, Sit over there and say my part. Which is about what I do in politics these days.
There is a crazy theory being spun that the Hillary campaign will be using Bill more and more as a kind of secret weapon, and has calculated how they will spring him (beware of theories that you read about regarding everything from campaigns to mob wars to rap wars: often, somebody is filling newspaper space), and so, an intrepid reporter asked, was this Sopranos spoof the unveiling of Mr. Clinton in Ms. Clintons arsenal?
I dont know how I can be more public its really about timing: what shes doing. What Im doing Actually, when our schedules mesh, its really a way to be together on the weekend actually, its a lot of fun for me Iowa, for example, means a lot to me but I dont think its helpful (having him make many appearances). I want people to get to know Hillary I think youll see that the vast bulk of her campaigning this year and well into next year is going to be just her.
Reporter: Uh, about Mayor Bloomberg no longer being a registered Republican and going Independent?
Well, Ive always liked him, and thought, Hes a very smart fellow. Thats why he left the Republicans. Because hes a smart guy.
Will Bloomberg hurt Hillary?
You know, no one is going to be drawn into that. Not only is it way premature, but should it ever come to that, the voters will decide. I know certain people dont pay attention unless you say something negative; our campaign tries not to do that.
He is smart, though. Walked away from the Republicans.
His delivery is still very good. You fill in the parts where the audience laughed.
Oh, I hope she uses him! I can hardly wait. Go for it, Scree--, er, Hillary!
Oh does that doctrine apply to the unholy of unholys for the Junk Media, the NY Times? The same newspaper that routinely reports rumor and innuendo about Iraq delivered by unnamed "govt sources high in the administration" as "facts"?
I thought he boned them.
Hillary needs to be asked point blank at one of the debates what Bill Clinton’s “role” will be since she already has served 2 terms as unelected “co-president”. We have a Constitutional amendment BARRING a third term in the White House.
Does she intend to extend powers to Bill Clinton that are contrary to the United States Constitution?
Voters have a right to know. No “suprises”.
“I thought he boned them.”
Bagged over head, then boned ‘em.
The DNC and MSM spread a lot of phony rumors about Mark Foley last election cycle and ran it to political victory.
Oooh oooh, Bubba Krinton can pack a conference room. We’re supposed to be impressed?
Are the Clintons still running the WH?
This headline is definetly misleading. I thought he was back to his Chubby Chasing days.
He also left the Democrats.
Exactly. I was going to ask whether they were talking about contributors or interns.
Most of those were true sadly. Not our finest hour.
These people do NOT care about others (she said, knowing that she is preaching to the proverbial choir). The reason for collecting this money is for personal gain...there IS no other reason in the lives of these grifters.
I can tell you this much, If Bill Clinton is involved it isnt philanthropy on his part.
He will be getting something out of this.
Maybe its the Latin America vote for Hillary,
Maybe its cash
Maybe its free rides on somebody’s corporate jet.
I have no idea what it is but Bill Clinton doesnt do anything for philanthropic reasons.
Another thing, it wont invlove a dime of his millions.
They all belong in jail.
Hells Bells...thought you were gonna say he just got caught with his pants down agin....
“Bill Clinton can still bag em”
What a gross headline.
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