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18:49

Giving It Away on Seventh Avenue

From my column in Tina Brown's Daily Beast today on the annual Clinton Global Initiative philanthrofest at the Sheraton - turns out Mick Jagger was wrong: you can give it away on Seventh Avenue:

Six years after unveiling his Clinton Global Initiative in midtown Manhattan, Bill Clinton is happy to reel off the numbers: 1,946 commitments to social change in the world valued at $63 billion “which have already improved nearly 300 million lives.” That's almost 5  percent of the Earth's population. And those numbers will go up this year, as the usual pilgrims for social change make their way to the cool and cavernous Sheraton on Seventh Avenue to announce philanthropic deals, forge alliances, and tweet the latest star sighting.

At the center is an ex-president almost entirely unbound. In setting up CGI, gathering the world's leaders from the corporate, NGO and government spheres, and pressing for a diverse series of philanthropic commitments around the world, Bill Clinton has created a potent alternative to the cloistered, poll-driven, media-obsessed, 24-hour cycle of the 10th circle of hell known as the American Presidency.

To read the rest, dip your piggies in Da Beast.

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Schweinderl