On Chelsea Clinton

Rumors are that Chelsea Clinton is gearing up to run for office. This is troubling news insofar as it might keep the Clinton machine and its hangers-on in politics. It also seems like a questionable idea insofar as Chelsea Clinton is a nepotist legacy case whose whole career to this point has been hopping from one dodgy patronage job to another, not exactly the ideal image for the Democratic party.

McKinsey (2003–2006)

After graduating high school, Chelsea goes to Stanford and gets a degree in history and then goes to Oxford and gets a degree in international relations. So far, so banal.

But after Oxford, Chelsea Clinton signed up with McKinsey, a consulting company known as an elite business training corps. She was the youngest in her class, hired at the same rank as those with M.B.A. degrees. Her interview was more like a conversation, said D. Ronald Daniel, a senior partner. “That’s why she was a good consultant, because we are professional question-askers and professional listeners,” Mr. Daniel said. — NYT

Despite having no background in business, statistics, or any other related field, Chelsea gets hired by McKinsey straight out of Oxford alongside elite business school graduates. The interview process for that was “more like a conversation.”

Avenue Capital Group LLC (2006–2009)

After 3 years at McKinsey, Chelsea moves on to Avenue Capital Group LLC, a hedge fund run by Marc Lasry. The NYT describes Lasry as “a loyal donor to Democratic causes generally, and Clinton-related ones specifically.” Bloomberg describes Lasry as “close to the Clinton family and a long-time donor to Democrats.”

IAC (2011-Present)

After a few years at the hedge fund, Chelsea decides to go back to school and pursue a doctorate at Oxford remotely from New York. While in graduate school, Chelsea becomes a board member for the media company IAC (I, II). For her efforts, she is paid $50,000 per year and given $250,000 in stock.

IAC is controlled by Barry Diller who, along with his wife Diane von Furstenberg, is a major Clinton donor and family friend. Chelsea, along with her husband, failed hedge funder Marc Mezvinsky, has been spotted on luxurious vacations with Diller and von Furstenberg, including in 2015 when the whole crew went snorkeling on Diller’s yacht in Sardinia.

Here’s how the NYT describes this board position:

But let’s be real. Ms. Clinton has this position only because she is the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the current secretary of state. This is clearly an appointment made because of who she is, not what she has done, one that defies American conceptions of meritocracy. Even most celebrity directors earn their way to such celebrity — sort of.

Chelsea is still on the board of IAC.

Clinton Foundation (2011-Present)

At the same time as she was getting a graduate degree from Oxford and sitting on IAC’s board, Chelsea had the honor of being selected for the board of the Clinton Foundation, where she is now Vice Chair.

NBC (2011–2014)

While on the IAC board, the Clinton Foundation board, and getting a graduate degree from Oxford, Chelsea somehow managed to get a job at NBC as a “special correspondent.” For this job, she got paid $600,000 despite producing less than 23 minutes of aired content. As Business Insider notes, this means Chelsea “earned about $26,724 for each minute she subsequently appeared on air.”

Expedia (2017-Present)

On March 16, 2017, Expedia created a new seat on its board of directors and then gave it to Chelsea. For this, she will be paid $45,000 per year and given $250,000 of stock.

Expedia used to be a property of IAC, a company where Chelsea is also on the board. It was spun off as a separate company in 2005. Close Clinton family friend Barry Diller (also of IAC) is the chairman of the Expedia board and a senior executive there.

Tax Sheltering Her Inheritance

If getting every job she ever had (most of which do not even appear to be real jobs) because of who her parents are was not enough, Bill and Hillary has made sure that the huge fortune they grifted over the years will pass to her with as little tax taken out as possible.

Bloomberg explains the shenanigans:

The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and local property records.
Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house’s value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston.
“The goal is really be thoughtful and try to build up the nontaxable estate, and that’s really what this is,” Sloan said. “You’re creating things that are going to be on the nontaxable side of the balance sheet when they die.”

Rethink This

You could not put together a more unappealing force in the world than what Chelsea Clinton represents, personally or politically.

Updated on 3/17/2017 to include Expedia board membership.