The Washington Post

Tony Rodham’s China fixation predates GreenTech

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s dealings with his former electric car  company, GreenTech Automotive, have been a key issue in his close race against state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli.

 

 Then-GreenTech Automotive executive Terry McAuliffe, second from left, jokes with former president Bill Clinton and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour after the unveiling of their new electric MyCar at their manufacturing facility in Horn Lake, Miss., in July 2012. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP) Then-GreenTech Automotive executive Terry McAuliffe, second from left, jokes with former president Bill Clinton and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour after the unveiling of their new electric MyCar at their manufacturing facility in Horn Lake, Miss., in July 2012. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

They’ve also brought back a Clinton angle, not just in McAuliffe’s strong ties to the Clintons but also in the company’s hiring of Tony Rodham — brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton and a former repo man, prison guard and private detective — to help secure foreign financing for the company.

Seems the company president, Charles Wang, once took Rodham on a trip to get some  money in China, Wang told the New York Times, but that was a bad move.

The Chinese apparently don’t like the Clintons for various reasons, including that U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 during the war in the Balkans. As a result, Rodham was hardly welcome in the Middle Kingdom. “They said, ‘Don’t bring Tony to China,’ ” Wang, a native of China, recalled.

Our colleague Karen Tumulty — she of the long memory — recalls that Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote in her memoir, “Living History,”  that Tony, even as a child, was so desperate to go to China he had a “dream of digging a hole all the way to China.”

Their mother, Clinton wrote, “started reading to him about China and every day he spent time digging his hole next to our house. Occasionally, he found a chopstick or fortune cookie my mother had hidden there.”

So he didn’t go there for the money. He went to pursue his childhood dream.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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