Was NY Times report that Scaife would lay off Clintons premature?

››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

Following a New York Times report that conservative financier Richard Mellon Scaife will not fund attacks on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), an April 15 column in the Scaife-owned Pittsburgh Tribune-Review compared Clinton to Lady Macbeth and three of her supporters, Geraldine Ferraro, Madeleine Albright, and Billie Jean King, to the "three hags -- witches" in Shakespeare's Macbeth who, according to the column, "aided" Lady Macbeth. The column added that Ferraro, Albright, and King "bring together 200 years of mostly bitter experience to Hillary's presumed need for champions." The author of the column is not identified beyond "a Washington-based British journalist and political observer."

The column added:

Putting Shakespeare and his snakes, newts and caldrons aside, Hillary's ladies, unlike Macbeth's witches, have "fear" as a vital ingredient to add to their 2007 mix. By telling her detractors that Hillary, and she alone, can save America from the disasters prophesied hourly on television, they hope to make Bill "the first gentleman."

Scaife, who gained notoriety in the 1990s for bankrolling attacks against the Clintons, is the longtime owner of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. In a February 16 article, The New York Times, noting that Scaife "spent more than $2 million investigating and publicizing accusations about the supposed involvement of Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton in corrupt land deals, sexual affairs, drug running and murder," reported: "But now, as Mrs. Clinton is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mr. Scaife's checkbook is staying in his pocket." Although Scaife did not comment for the article, the Times reported that Scaife business partner Christopher Ruddy said of himself and Scaife, " 'Both of us have had a rethinking.' Ruddy added, 'Clinton wasn't such a bad president. ... In fact, he was a pretty good president in a lot of ways, and Dick [Richard Mellon Scaife] feels that way today.' "

Clinton was famously dubbed "the Lady Macbeth of Little Rock" in an August 1992 American Spectator feature article by Daniel Wattenberg titled, "The Lady Macbeth of Little Rock; Hillary Clinton's hard-left past and present."

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's April 15 Dateline D.C. column:

Four hundred years ago, William Shakespeare wrote a play telling the story of King Macbeth of Scotland. A good story loves to repeat itself:

Macbeth reveals the tragedy of a woman's lust for power and betrayal of friends; Lady Macbeth is aided in her purpose by three aged creatures, the Weird Sisters. These three hags -- witches -- call up "snakes, newts and the toes of frogs" to conjure a "hell's broth" of "furies" to plague man as they hobble and prance around a steaming cauldron on a wind-swept heath.

But that was then, and this is now. Hillary Clinton is seeking the power of the presidency and three very respected elderly ladies have vowed to form a "rapid rebuttal force" of well-known women to defend and promote Sen. Clinton's candidacy.

This force, bringing together 200 years of mostly bitter experience to Hillary's presumed need for champions, is led by a candidate for vice president 23 years ago, Geraldine Ferraro.

[...]

Madeleine Albright, another septuagenarian on the response team, is known for her wonderful ability to juggle friends and business interests with politics. Bill Clinton made her secretary of State because she had won power and friends in the Democratic Party by advising losers.

[...]

The third acknowledged member of the Hillary "truth squad" is the world tennis professional Billie Jean King. She is remembered by many for her wonderful net play and her saying, "Victory is fleeting. Losing is forever!" She also is known for winning the Battle of the Sexes in 1973 against male tennis pro Bobby Riggs, the high point of her (if not his) career.

Putting Shakespeare and his snakes, newts and caldrons aside, Hillary's ladies, unlike Macbeth's witches, have "fear" as a vital ingredient to add to their 2007 mix. By telling her detractors that Hillary, and she alone, can save America from the disasters prophesied hourly on television, they hope to make Bill "the first gentleman."

Network/Outlet
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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