Saturday, 10 May 2008

“Funding Father of the Right” Backs Hillary for President

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Hillary ClintonNeoconservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife has had a change of heart concerning Hillary Clinton. Scaife, the partial heir of the Mellon family fortune, once was involved in the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign and helped to fund efforts by the American Spectator magazine in the 1990s to expose Bill Clinton’s womanizing and abuse of power while governor of Arkansas. But he has decided to throw his support behind Hillary Clinton after a meeting with her in March.

“[That] meeting and her remarks during it changed my mind about her,” Scaife admitted in a laudatory editorial entitled “Hillary, Reassessed.”

Just before Pennsylvania’s presidential primaries, Scaife’s newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, published a glowing endorsement of Hillary Clinton. The two-term New York senator is “far more experienced in government [than Obama] — as an engaged first lady to a governor and a president, as a second-term senator in her own right,” the Tribune-Review enthused. “She has a real voting record on key issues. Agree with her or not, you at least know where she stands instead of being forced to wonder.”

While all of this may seem a betrayal of the so-called right wing that Scaife supposedly epitomizes (he has supported such organizations as the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Reason Foundation, Judicial Watch, the Federalist Society, and the American Enterprise Institute, among many others), he has long given generously to certain of the political left’s most influential institutions as well. These include the globalist Center for Strategic Policy and International Studies, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Planned Parenthood (Scaife is an ardent supporter of abortion).

Richard Mellon Scaife’s track record is all too typical of ultra-rich power brokers who dedicate their assets not to principled causes but to a power agenda championed across political party lines. Only thus can be explained the transformation of the man the Washington Post once styled the “Funding Father of the Right” into a Hillary Clinton supporter.