Clinton, who has been cultivating billionaire Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation as a big-time donor and financial backer for his own AIDS projects and for his library’s construction costs, has met with advisers about staging a ten-day trip to Africa to tout his own ideas about combating the deadly disease on that continent. According to Clinton insiders in Washington, he’d like the trip to be covered by the media the same way a presidential foreign trip might be covered and maybe even turned into a documentary.
“He’s looking to get credit for all the work he did — and does — on the issue of AIDS,” says a former White House staffer for Clinton. “We did much more than the Bush people have done, but you’d never know it. President Clinton deserves all of the credit for pushing this issue to the forefront of our national consciousness.”
But the Clinton White House was never able to get the money and the backing that the Bush White House has pulled together in a relatively short period of time. While there is still wrangling over the $2 billion to $3 billion funding level on Capitol Hill, it appears the Bush team has managed to mobilize and focus the federal government on the AIDS issue.
Evidently Clinton is concerned that a too-successful Bush team means less money from foundations and others for his own projects. But with his interest in press coverage, it also appears to be just another attempt by the diminished one to get some spotlight time back on himself.
Clinton, by the way, will be spending less time in the United States if everything goes as planned. Rumor has it that he plunked down a million or so for a condo and membership in an exclusive golf club in Ireland, where he has played several times over the years. This brings to three the total number of locales for the ex-president to hang away from Hillary’s House in Washington and the joint abode in Chappaqua. He keeps a small rest area in his Harlem offices and will have a fully functional apartment in his Little Rock library.p> THE END OF HERSTORY br> Start looking for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
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