Matthews referred to Hillary Clinton as "sort of a Madame Defarge of the left"


MSNBC host Chris Matthews referred to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as "sort of a Madame Defarge of the left" -- a slur previously advanced by conservative syndicated columnist and CNN host Robert Novak, MSNBC political analyst and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, and MSNBC host Monica Crowley.

Madame Defarge is a villainous character in Charles Dickens's novel A Tale of Two Cities. According to, a website that provides study guides for classic novels, Madame Defarge is "a cruel, vengeance-seeking agent of the [French] revolution ... [who] spends her days knitting a 'register' of names of people she has marked for death."

From the April 24 edition of the syndicated Chris Matthews Show:

MATTHEWS: But does anyone think that Hillary will have a pro -- you say she'll have a problem reconciling her current move to the center with her past image as sort of a Madame Defarge of the left?

Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.