by Sam Hieb
Right after I read that RJR heir Smith Bagley died, I noted his wife Elizabeth’s name in this interesting NYT article on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s efforts to raise funds for the U.S. exhibit at the Shanghai world’s fair:
“I was dumbfounded that so little attention had been paid to it,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Everyone knows China is going to be an enormously powerful player in the 21st century. They have an expo, which is a kind of rite of passage that countries like to do to show they have arrived. We’re not there? What does that say?”
She said she did not relish the prospect of more fund-raising — “When would it ever end?” she recalled asking herself — but she promised Chinese officials that she would try to raise the money.
There was little support within the State Department. So Mrs. Clinton turned to two major fund-raisers with long ties to the Clinton family: Elizabeth F. Bagley and Jose H. Villarreal.
Mrs. Bagley, who is married to Smith Bagley, an heir to the R. J. Reynolds fortune, was ambassador to Portugal under President Bill Clinton. Mrs. Clinton appointed her to be the department’s special representative for global partnerships, a job that involves rounding up private support for public projects.
Now we know what Hillary’s been up to since the Obama administration neutralized her.