Obama still has a Bill problem

Bill Clinton has agreed to scale back his activities with the Clinton Global Initiative and disclose his donors list, but as Politico reports, he still has an awful lot of leeway for activities that could give the president-elect headaches down the road: He can still give speeches around the world and pull down six-figure speaking ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
591238_081209_bill5.jpg
591238_081209_bill5.jpg

Bill Clinton has agreed to scale back his activities with the Clinton Global Initiative and disclose his donors list, but as Politico reports, he still has an awful lot of leeway for activities that could give the president-elect headaches down the road:

He can still give speeches around the world and pull down six-figure speaking and consulting fees.

He can still ask for multi-million dollar checks to fund the Clinton Foundation’s work.

Bill Clinton has agreed to scale back his activities with the Clinton Global Initiative and disclose his donors list, but as Politico reports, he still has an awful lot of leeway for activities that could give the president-elect headaches down the road:

He can still give speeches around the world and pull down six-figure speaking and consulting fees.

He can still ask for multi-million dollar checks to fund the Clinton Foundation’s work.

His foundation can host big events overseas and accept major contributions from foreign governments to fund its international disease-fighting, development and environmental initiatives.

And if he wants to do something that makes ethics officials at State uneasy, they can flag their concerns to the Clintons, but likely won’t be able to veto Bill’s proposed activities, experts say.

If his controversial speech in Malaysia last week was any indication of his future activities, it could be a fun four years to cover the State Department.

Photo: MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.