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15 Jun, 2021 21:00

Gates empire still intact as newly-divorced Melinda recasts herself as HR maven to Biden administration - reports

Gates empire still intact as newly-divorced Melinda recasts herself as HR maven to Biden administration - reports

Melinda Gates, who split with Microsoft founder-turned-vaccine-evangelist Bill Gates last month in a surprise but reportedly long-brewing divorce, is diving into politics, according to an Axios report on her policy ambitions.

Now calling herself Melinda French Gates, the billionaire’s former spouse has wasted no time seeking out a selection of senior figures in domestic policy to woo with her infrastructure plans, the report says. On Monday, she ventured to Washington, DC on a mission to talk paid leave with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, while she plans to visit Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington), among others, on Tuesday.

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Murray is not only chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, but also chair of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Such committee assignments would certainly attract Gates, who has reportedly followed up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s gargantuan Covid-19 vaccine initiative with a lobbying push for more paid leave and childcare – busily keeping her name in the headlines with her soon-to-be-ex-husband nowhere in sight.

Under the aegis of her organization Pivotal Ventures, which she launched in 2015 independently of her husband, the former Microsoft manager is hoping to convince the Biden administration to adopt some of her infrastructure and paid leave policies as part of the infrastructure package he has promised Americans.

However, if the Biden administration’s recent push to redefine paid leave and other benefits traditionally considered “perks” as “care infrastructure” moves forward, Democrats will need all the help they can get to ram it through – especially from an influential figure like Gates.

While the Gateses’ split has been attributed in US media to Melinda’s discomfort with Bill’s long-running relationship with notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, there had always been speculation about his infidelities. Even as he married Melinda in 1994, it was reportedly with an understanding that Bill would be permitted to spend one long-weekend per year with his old flame Ann Winblad.

Gates’ ex-girlfriend explained that she gave the pair her blessing, praising Melinda not for her wit, or beauty, or even devotion to Bill, but for her “intellectual stamina,” suggesting the Microsoft kingpin took a rather more mercenary approach to ‘settling down’. The notion that Melinda has only now – years after the fact – become upset enough over the Epstein incident to divorce her wealthy hubby can be difficult to believe, and assuming the marriage is, in fact, “irretrievably broken,” one must ask how it lasted so long in that “broken” state before the pair finally pulled the plug.

Epstein, who died in prison in 2019 – by his own hand, according to the official version – had irritated the couple with what third-parties referred to as “endless name-dropping,” bragging about the rich and famous types he’d hung out with even while hanging out with other rich and famous types.

More concerning for the Gateses was his “habit of bragging that he was an unofficial adviser to Bill Gates,” according to a Daily Beast report on the pair last month – a claim the software tycoon’s representatives have hotly denied.

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