A Dramaturgical Concordance

Posted on December 16, 2011


Hillary: A Modern Greek Tragedy

with a (Somewhat) Happy Ending

A Dramaturgical Concordance

  1. Travelgate (p. 9) – On May 19, 1993 the entire travel office department was fired by the Clinton Administration, under suspicion of criminal activity, to be investigated by the FBI. Later this was walked back to an administrative leave. The travel office, established under Jackson, deals with travel arrangements for the White House Press Corp as they trail the president, processing about $7 million in expenses per year. At the time, Billy Dale was the office head – and with no accounting experience, he ran the operation much like a “country store.” Dale would estimate travel costs based on what he knew and if the estimates were off mark he either reimbursed or billed press members for the difference. In addition, Dale relied on Airline of the Americas for all travel, rather than opening it up to competitive bidding as well as maintaining a personal account in order to pay tips and other off-the-books expenses that popped up unexpectedly. In response to this foreseen misuse of funds, the Clintons planned to shake up the operation once they arrived. In an effort spear-headed by Catherine A. Cornelius, Clinton’s cousin, who had managed travel for the 1992 campaign, talks began with World Wide Travel, Inc., an Arkansas-based travel agency that had an affiliation with a law firm in which Hillary served as a partner and was also a contributor to the campaign and a business partner of the DNC. The whole affair resulted in Dale being tried for embezzlement and intense questioning of the Clintons and their associates. While the Clintons were not implicated in any wrongdoings, their reputations were severely tarnished – the whole process cost tax payers $250,000 in legal fees, more than the amount Cornelius alleged would be saved by switching travel agencies. On July 20, 1993, Vince Foster a White House counsel involved in the Travelgate fracas committed suicide, apparently as a result of depression brought on by the whole ordeal.
  2. Whitewater (p. 9) – In 1978, Bill and Hillary Clinton created a partnership called the Whitewater Development Corp. with James and Susan MacDougal to buy riverfront land and resell it as lots for vacation homes. By 1992, the partnership had dissolved, at a loss of more than $40,000. The MacDougals also owned MacDougal’s Madison Savings and Loan, for which Hillary performed legal work. The MacDougals engaged in much illegal activity, including obtaining a $30,000 fraudulent loan (allegedly with the help of Bill Clinton), part of which was earmarked for the Whitewater Corp. Ultimately, by the late 1980s, the bank went bust. Bill Clinton testified in the case, but was accused of no wrongdoing. James MacDougal was sentenced to three years in jail, during which time he died of a heart attack. His wife was sentenced to 18 months. Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker was also sentenced to 18 months, which he served at home due to ill health.
  3. Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (p. 13) – Originally published in 1855, the book contained 12 untitled poems and a preface. By the time Whitman died in 1892, frequent revisions had expanded the book to 383 poems, divided into sections on “Inscriptions,” “Children of Adam,” “Calamus,” “Birds of Passage,” “Sea-Drift,” “By the Roadside,” “Drum Taps,” “Memories of President Lincoln,” “Autumn Rivulets,” “Whispers of Heavenly Death,” “From Noon to Starry Night,” “ Songs of Parting,” “First Annex: Sands at Seventy,” and “Second Annex: Good-bye My Fancy.” At the time it was released, Leaves of Grass received a “mixed and bewildered critical and popular response,” but received much praise from established poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, and has come to be known for its “invention of a truly American free verse and a groundbreaking, open, inclusive, and optimistic poe[try]…written in long, sprawling lines [that] span an astonishing variety of subject matter and points of view – embodying the democratic spirit of his new America.” Oh Captain, My Captain! is a famous poem from the collection concerning the assassination of Abraham Lincoln
  4. Wellesley (p. 15) – Located in scenic Wellesley, MA, surrounded by a lake, woodlands, an arboretum, and meadows, Wellesley College is a prestigious women’s liberal arts college – originally part of the Seven Sisters Colleges, which also included Mount Holyoke, Vassar, Smith, Radcliffe, Bryn Mawr, and Barnard. Other alumni include Madeleine Albright, Diane Sawyer, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, and Space Shuttle Commander Pamela Melroy. Their mission statement is as follows: “One of the most academically challenging colleges in the country and widely acknowledged as the nation’s top women’s college, Wellesley provides students with myriad opportunities. With a longstanding commitment to and established reputation for academic excellence, Wellesley offers more than 1,000 courses in 56 established majors and supports more than 100 student clubs and organizations. Wellesley’s blend of high academic standards, strong sense of community and dedicated faculty create an ideal environment for women who want to succeed.”
  5. Edward Brooke (p. 15) – was the first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote, serving from 1967 – 1979. He was born in Washington, D.C. in 1919, attended Howard and Boston Universities, and served in World War II. His pet issues, as a Republican senator from Massachusetts, were low-income housing, increased minimum wage, and racial equality in the South. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.
  6. Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Rights, Liberties, and Justice (p. 17) – is a 900 page text written by professors at Northwestern and Emory Universities that examines contemporary and classic cases in a “rich political context, including the ideological and behavioral inclinations of justices, the politics of judicial selection, and the impact of public opinion and positions taken by elected officials. [The book also studies] how [each case] fits into the development of constitutional doctrine [and] include[s] profiles of influential groups and justices, photographs of litigants, exhibits from the cases, and full descriptions of the events that led to the suits.”
  7. Constitutional Law in Theory and Practice (p. 17) – is a 200 page text written by David M. Beatty, the Director of the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics and Board Effectiveness. “In the book he reviews the leading cases that have come before the Privy Council and the Supreme Court of Canada concerning the BNA Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As well, Beatty reviews important decisions made by courts around the world and analyses the function judges perform in liberal-democratic societies when they enforce written constitutions that include bills of rights.”
  8. Gennifer Flowers (p. 27) – was a television new reporter in Little Rock, AK in 1977 when she allegedly began a sexual relationship will then-governor Bill Clinton that lasted 12 years. During their time together he advised her to move into an apartment complex where he could clandestinely visit her. He also gave her contact information for two assistants who would relay any information she wanted to him. In 1990, Flowers secured a job as administrative assistant for the Arkansas Appeal Tribunal with Clinton’s help. A more qualified applicant who had been turned down filed a grievance saying that Flowers’s relationship with Clinton got her the job. Flowers was advised by Clinton to deny any relationship in her deposition, but the head of the commission ended the line of questioning when it reached the subject. During the 1992 Presidential race, Flowers came forth with information about the affair, including taped conversations. The campaign team worked hard to discredit her claims – and years later she brought a defamation suit against Hillary Clinton, as well as aides and strategists James Carville and George Stephanopoulos, which was soon dropped.
  9. “Bush promised not to raise taxes.” (p. 27) “Read my lips – no new taxes,” was a focal point of George H.W. Bush’s acceptance speech at the 1988 RNC. As the economy took a turn for the worse and the federal deficit ballooned, President Bush, faced with a Democratic Congress, was forced to go back on his promise.
  10. box from Troy given to her by Odysseus” (p. 29) – Pandora’s Box
  11. Tammy Wynette (p. 29) – a very successful country music performer in the ‘60s and ‘70s with 17 Number One Hits, her signature song, Stand By Your Man, advocates putting the needs of one’s self second to those of her male partner, forgiving him and loving him and doting on him no matter what he does, according to feminist critics.
  12. Newt Gingrich (p. 31) – Educated at Emory and Tulane Universities, Gingrich was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, representing the state of Georgia. He had previously lost elections in 1974 and 1976. While in Congress, he formed the Conservative Opportunity and was also influential in the removal of Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright for violating campaign finance rules. Additionally, he became Minority Whip when Dick Cheney became Secretary of Defense. Known for his aggressive, combative style, he lead the Republican Revolution of 1994 which resulted in the Republican takeover of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. His primary tool in accomplishing this was the Contract with America, which pledged welfare reform, tougher crime laws, and a balanced budget among other things. In the mid-90s, his popularity began to wane due to his role in government shutdowns and ethics investigations. Gingrich was a huge proponent of pushing for Clinton’s impeachment after he lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky in front of a federal grand jury, despite carrying on his own affair with a staffer at the time, but resigned in disgrace after the losses of the 1998 elections and dramatic shift in public sentiment.
  13. “husband’s cigars” (p. 45) – Bill Clinton, who was known to be fond of cigars, was alleged from Monica Lewinsky’s testimony in the Starr Report, to have engaged in sexual conduct with her using a cigar, after which he smoked it.

Works Cited

  1. Locy, Toni. “For White House Travel Office, a Two-Year Trip of Trouble.” Washington Post. Monday, February 27, 1995. Page A04.
  2. Froomkin, Dan “Untangling Watergate.” Washington Post. 2000.
  3. Guide to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.” Poets.org. From the Academy of American Poets
  4.  Wellesley College. Best Colleges. #6 Best National Liberal Arts College. U.S. News & World Report. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/wellesley-college-2224
  5. Edward Brooke: A Featured Biography.” United States Senate. http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/Featured_Bio_Brooke.htm
  6. “From the Publisher.” Epstein, Lee and Thomas G. Walker. Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Rights, Liberties, and Justice. CQ Press, 5th edition, 2003.
  7. “From the Publisher.” Beatty, David. Constitutional Law in Theory and Practice. University of Toronto Press, 1995.
  8. Flowers, Gennifer G. “Declaration of Gennifer G. Flowers.” Washington Post. March 13, 1998.
  9. Top 10 Unfortunate Political One-Liners.” TIME. November 17, 2011.
  10. Rose, Herbert Jennings. A Handbook of Greek Literature: From Homer to the Age of Lucian. Routeledge, 1990.
  11. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Tammy Wynette Biography. AllMusic.
  12. Biography. Newt Gingrich. A&E Television. 2011.
  13. The Starr Report. Washington Post. The Washington Post Company, 1998.


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