The Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) latest annual meeting was a major flop, according to leaked notes from a conference call held by CGI program advisers after the September 2015 meeting in New York City.
The conference call invited some of the meeting’s guests to weigh in with “Reflections and Feedback” on the annual get-together of Clinton-friendly power brokers. The feedback was largely negative.
The notes from the call do not reflect exact quotes from the attendees, but rather summaries of what the attendees had to say about their experience.
“Been to every meeting, this year’s meeting there were fewer people, CEOs, lower energy,” according to the notes gleaned from Standard Chartered bank official Payal Dalal’s feedback.
The low energy was “probably result of UN, etc.?” but the notes also make clear that “People have expressed political concerns with the Secretary’s run.” (p. 2).
“CGI’s competitive edge is in the commitment space. There was a dramatic drop in interest in commitments this year. Troubling trend,” noted a guest named “Derek.”
A guest named Jocelyn noted that she “didn’t feel there were that many super stars. Energy lower.”
A guest named Jamie expressed grave concerns, saying, “Politico article – is this going to be the last CGI? Can Chelsea carry it from here? Work needs to be done now to turn this around.”
“Derek agrees with this,” the notes for Jamie’s feedback continue. “Opportunity to think differently. Starting with having a more discrete set of commitment areas. A lot of the content areas have been fatigued. Haiti, etc. doesn’t stimulate interest.”
Derek also added that there were, “Missed opportunities in Escalators of Opportunity with Stiglitz. The moderator was terrible. High-end actress to get up during the session was appalling. How did Stiglitz feel having an actress there talking about babies?”
The moderator of that session was Rana Foroohar, a female Iranian-American analyst for Time and CNN. The actress in question was Jessica Biel, formerly of television’s “7th Heaven” and also various movies.
Fortunately, as Jamie noted, “a lot of people commented on how good the food was.”
President Barack Obama skipped the event for the first time during his presidency, as did Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 2014 meeting’s six top corporate sponsors all declined to sponsor the 2015 event, including HSBC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Samsung, Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical, and Deutsche Bank.
As Breitbart News reported, the meeting was rife with no-shows and big-name cancellations. The attention on the Clinton Foundation was triggered by reporting by Peter Schweizer, Breitbart’s Senior Editor-at-Large. His book, Clinton Cash, put a spotlight on the Clinton Foundation’s questionable financial deals.