(WASHINGTONPOST) — MARRAKESH, Morocco — The scene that unfolded here last week as Bill Clinton convened world leaders for a philanthropic conference was hardly what his wife’s champion-for-everyday-Americans campaign would have ordered up.
Gathered in Marrakesh for a Clinton Global Initiative confab, foreign oligarchs and corporate titans mingled amid palm trees, decorative pools and dazzling tiled courtyards with the former president and his traveling delegation of foundation donors — many of whom are also donors to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign.
When daughter Chelsea moderated a discussion on women’s empowerment, the only male panelist was Morocco’s richest person, Othman Benjelloun, whose BMCE Bank is a CGI sponsor. For the week’s biggest party, guests were chauffeured across the city to an opulent 56-room palace that boasts a private collection of Arabian horses, overlooks the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and serves a fine-dining menu of “biolight” cuisine.
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Ahead of that event, Bill Clinton greeted Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal. “See you tonight, Turki,” he told his royal highness.
It was a long way from Hillary Clinton’s campaign-trail visits to Chipotle. The luxe week in Morocco highlighted the overarching question facing the Clintons and their coexisting circles of political advisers: What to do with Bill?