According to people familiar with negotiations between the Obama and Clinton camps, here are the general rules going forward for the former president, as his wife prepares to become the next Secretary of State.
Both at the request of President-elect Obama, and to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest between the work of former President Clinton and the service of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., should she be nominated and confirmed as Secretary of State, former President Clinton is taking the following steps above and beyond the requirements of current laws and regulations (the language below is generally not mine but has been passed on from those involved):
* The William J. Clinton Foundation will publish the names of everyone who has contributed since its founding in 1997;
* Should Sen. Clinton be nominated and confirmed as Secretary of State, during her time of service, the Foundation will also publish the names of everyone who contributes going forward on an annual basis;
* The Foundation will separately incorporate the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)* from the Clinton Foundation; former President Clinton will continue to host CGI gatherings, such as the one in New York City and its meetings for college and university students, as Founding Chairman of CGI;
* Although former President Clinton will continue to invite participants to CGI events (which involves normal registration fees), he will not solicit "sponsorship" contributions for CGI;
* CGI will also not host annual events outside the United States and CGI will not solicit or accept foreign government contributions;
* Given the extensive and life-saving work of the Clinton Foundation's HIV/AIDS Initiative, which can and should continue, the Foundation will continue to fulfill its commitments funded by foreign governments (including, among others, Sweden Norway, France, Great Britain). In the event an existing contributing country chooses to substantially increase its commitment, or a new country, or government-owned entity, decides to contribute, the Foundation will share such proposed contributions with the State Department ethics officials. The State Department may also share the issue with the White House Counsel's office for review. To whatever extent there are conflict of interest concerns raised about such potential contributions related to Sen. Clinton's service as Secretary, they will be conveyed to Sen. Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for appropriate action;
* Same procedure to be followed for any foreign country contributors to the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative Commitment, and the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative;
* Regarding former President Clinton's private work, during Sen. Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State (should that happen), former President Clinton will share proposed hosts of speeches with the State Department ethics officials for their review, and as appropriate for review by the White House Counsel. Again, should there be conflict of interest concerns related to the Senator's anticipated service as Secretary, they will share those concerns with Senator and President Clinton for appropriate action;
* During her tenure as Secretary of State, should his wife be nominated and confirmed, President Clinton will share any proposed consultant relationships with State Department ethics officials, and the same procedures outlined above will apply here as well.
* None of these protocols is required by any law, and all of them go above and beyond the requirements of the law to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest;
* The procedures are, of course, in addition, to the already extensive laws and regulations government the activities of spouses of federal officials (such as those outlined in 5 USC 208 and related regulations).
* Full disclosure: My beloved younger brother Aaron Hahn Tapper runs a program, Abrahams Vision, which participated in the Clinton Global Initiative in 2006. I hope it's apparent to anyone who followed my coverage of the primaries that his participation had no bearing on my coverage.