Suburban, staunchly Republican Utah was an unlikely place for a packed, late-October presidential campaign rally, humming with the air of suspense of an up-for-grabs race.
But in an election year defined by its improbability, this state has become a battleground, thanks to the candidate whom hundreds turned out to see last week in a high school gym: Evan McMullin, a little-known policy wonk turned political sensation who suddenly has a credible shot to win Utah’s six electoral votes.
Such a feat would make him the first candidate outside the two major parties to win a state in a presidential election since segregationist George Wallace in 1968. McMullin, though, is aiming for more than a spot in obscure political trivia. He has cast his campaign as the start of a “new conservative movement,” offering a glimpse of the post-election identity crisis that awaits the GOP.
A close aide to Bill Clinton said he arranged for $50 million in payments for the former president, part of a complicated mingling of lucrative business deals and charity work of the Clinton Foundation mapped out in a memo released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday.
The report was written by Doug Band, who has transitioned from his job as a Clinton aide to a partner in Teneo Consulting, a firm whose client roster now includes some of the biggest companies in the world. Along the way, Band wrote, he also pushed his clients and contacts to donate millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, and to help win business deals for Bill Clinton.
Band wrote the memo in November 2011 to John Podesta, now chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign, and sent copies to other key Clinton aides, apparently to explain and justify his work in the face of criticism from others in the Clinton orbit — notably Chelsea Clinton.