Feature

Hillary Clinton's confirmation

Smooth sailing, except for questions about disclosing donors to Bill Clinton’s foundation

Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing looks like a "bipartisan love fest," said USA Today in an editorial. Her Senate colleagues "tripped over themselves to praise" her. But the question of disclosing foreign donors to former president Bill Clinton's global charitable foundation "played like a sour note in a symphony."

And with good reason, said the New York Post in an editorial. The secretary-of-State designate tried to brush off the "pesky" issue by saying that her husband had already agreed to an "unprecedented" level of disclosure to eliminate concerns of any conflict of interest. Maybe, but if she wants to uphold the Obama administration's commitment to transparency, why not agree to a halt to all future foreign donations, as GOP Sen. Richard Lugar suggested?

"Lugar was only stating the obvious," said The Washington Post in an editorial. The disclosure agreement the Clintons negotiated with President-elect Barack Obama is full of loopholes, and the Associated Press reports that Mrs. Clinton intervened at least six times in government issues affecting donors to her husband's foundation. Most senators seem content to overlook this "obvious minefield," but if Clinton doesn't address the issue now, it will "haunt her, and her president, throughout her tenure."

"No doubt Senator Clinton is sailing toward confirmation," said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial, "and then on to what she promises will be a new world of 'smart power.'" But even Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee share Lugar's concerns. Both parties have faced scandals over dealings with mysterious donors, so any experienced Washington hand can see the "political difficulty over the horizon."

Bill Clinton is the one who can fix this problem, said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. "The best way out of this mess" is for him to "divorce himself from all of his foundation's fundraising activities for as long as Hillary Clinton is secretary of state; he can consider it partial atonement to his long-suffering wife."

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