The year was 1997. Colin Powell and his wife Alma created a foundation called America’s Promise. The foundation was started to help America’s children. The goal was laudable if not particularly effective.
In 2000, George W. Bush was chosen by the Supreme Court as President of the United States. President Bush chose the popular, Colin Powell, as his first Secretary of State. What happened to America’s Promise?
Alma Powell took over running charity while her husband served as Secretary of State. During the four years her husband served as Secretary, the foundation took in tremendous amounts of data money. Some of those donations came from less than reputable sources. One such source was Ken Lay of Enron.
After those donations by Mr. Lay, Secretary Powell went to bat for Enron in a dispute with the Indian government. Did Enron or Mr. Lay use the foundation to gain access to the Secretary and obtain special treatment?
The answer is that no one knows. No one knows because the media never investigated. Republicans in the House and Senate did not demand hearings.
Why? Why were Republicans not outraged when the connection between donations and direct action by Colin Powell seemed clear? Why are Republicans and the media now hyper-focused on the Clinton Foundation, which has not been shown to have any clear connections to Secretary Clinton’s work in the State Department?
There are no real differences between the two situations. The only difference is that Colin Powell is not a woman playing what has traditionally been a man’s game.