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Clinton praises Trib publisher's fight 'for what he believed'

Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media - Former President of the United States Bill Clinton mingles with Trib Total Media staff following his speech during a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media</em></div>Former President of the United States Bill Clinton mingles with Trib Total Media staff following his speech during a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Stephanie Strasburg | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Former president Bill Clinton speaks at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Former president Bill Clinton speaks at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Stephanie Strasburg | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Former president Bill Clinton speaks at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Former president Bill Clinton speaks at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media - Former President Clinton delivers Scaife memorial address Former President of the United States Bill Clinton addresses Trib Total Media staff members during a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Former President Clinton delivers Scaife memorial address  Former President of the United States Bill Clinton  addresses Trib Total Media staff members during a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
- Former president Bill Clinton speaks at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Former president Bill Clinton speaks at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media - Former President of the United States Bill Clinton shares a laugh with Trib Total Media employees Kari Andren and Randy Bish following his speech at a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Former President of the United States Bill Clinton shares a laugh with Trib Total Media employees Kari Andren and Randy Bish following his speech at a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
John C. Schisler | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Former president Bill Clinton greets Trib Total Media columnist and editor Nafari Vanaski for the Bridgeville Area News after speaking at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>John C. Schisler  |  TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Former president Bill Clinton greets Trib Total Media columnist and editor Nafari Vanaski for the Bridgeville Area News after speaking at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
James M. Kubus | Trib Total Media - Former President Bill Clinton and H. Yale Gutnick, chairman of the Trib Total Media board of directors, talk after making remarks at a memorial service for Richard Scaife on the grounds of Scaife's childhood home in Ligonier.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James M. Kubus  | Trib Total Media</em></div>Former President Bill Clinton and H. Yale Gutnick, chairman of the Trib Total Media board of directors, talk after making remarks at a memorial service for Richard Scaife on the grounds of Scaife's childhood home in Ligonier.
Stephanie Strasburg | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Former president Bill Clinton greets Trib Total Media employees after speaking at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Former president Bill Clinton greets Trib Total Media employees after speaking at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Stephanie Strasburg | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Former president Bill Clinton shares a laugh with business columnist John Browne after speaking at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Former president Bill Clinton shares a laugh with business columnist John Browne after speaking at Penguin Court in Ligonier in honor of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
- Former forty-second President of the United States, Bill Clinton, casually speaks with members of Trib Total Media after he spoke with the newspaper staff about his friendship with Richard Mellon Scaife during a memorial service for Scaife at his property Penguin Court in Ligonier, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
Former forty-second President of the United States, Bill Clinton, casually speaks with members of Trib Total Media after he spoke with the newspaper staff about his friendship with Richard Mellon Scaife during a memorial service for Scaife at his property Penguin Court in Ligonier, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media - Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, mingles with Trib Total Media staff following his speech during a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media</em></div>Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, mingles with Trib Total Media staff following his speech during a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media - Former President of the United States Bill Clinton mingles with Trib Total Media staff following his speech during a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media</em></div>Former President of the United States Bill Clinton mingles with Trib Total Media staff following his speech during a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Stephanie Strasburg | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Trib Total Media photojournalist Guy Wathen, of Squirrel Hill, takes a selfie with former president Bill Cliniton at Penguin Court in Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014. Mr. Clinton spoke in memory of Richard Mellon Scaife at a special memorial service honoring the Trib Total Media publisher and philanthropist.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Trib Total Media photojournalist Guy Wathen, of Squirrel Hill, takes a selfie with former president Bill Cliniton at Penguin Court in Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014. Mr. Clinton spoke in memory of Richard Mellon Scaife at a special memorial service honoring the Trib Total Media publisher and philanthropist.
Stephanie Strasburg | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - From left to right, Trib Total Media employees James Borden, Carol Shrefler, Karen Price, and Bob Bauder listen to former president Bill Cliniton speak in memory of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife at Penguin Court in Ligonier during a memorial in Scaife's honor on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>From left to right, Trib Total Media employees James Borden, Carol Shrefler, Karen Price, and Bob Bauder listen to former president Bill Cliniton speak in memory of Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife at Penguin Court in Ligonier during a memorial in Scaife's honor on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media - Former President of the United States Bill Clinton mingles with Trib Total Media staff members following his speech at a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Former President of the United States Bill Clinton mingles with Trib Total Media staff members following his speech at a memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife at his property, Penguin Court, outside Ligonier on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
John C. Schisler | Trib Total Media - Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, speaks to staff members of Trib Total Media during a private memorial for Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday at Scaife's property, Penguin Court, in Ligonier. Clinton spoke of his admiration for Scaife and how they became friends after leaving office.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>John C. Schisler | Trib Total Media</em></div>Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, speaks to staff members of Trib Total Media during a private memorial for Richard Mellon Scaife on Saturday at Scaife's property, Penguin Court, in Ligonier. Clinton spoke of his admiration for Scaife and how they became friends after leaving office.
John C. Schisler | Trib Total Media - Yale Gutnick, a lawyer for both Richard Mellon Scaife and Trib Total Media, says a few words about his dear friend and what he meant to the newspaper business before introducing former President of the United States Bill Clinton during a memorial service for Scaife at Penguin Court in Ligonier, Pa, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>John C. Schisler  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Yale Gutnick, a lawyer for both Richard Mellon Scaife and Trib Total Media, says a few words about his dear friend and what he meant to the newspaper business before introducing former President of the United States Bill Clinton during a memorial service for Scaife at Penguin Court in Ligonier, Pa, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
John C. Schisler | Trib Total Media - Trib Total Media Medical Editor Luis Fabregas (left) chats with Bill Clinton as the former President of the United States mingled with attendees of a memorial for Richard Mellon Scaife that was held at Penguin Court in Ligonier, Pa for members of the company's staff on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>John C. Schisler | Trib Total Media</em></div>Trib Total Media Medical Editor Luis Fabregas (left) chats with Bill Clinton as the former President of the United States mingled with attendees of a memorial for Richard Mellon Scaife that was held at Penguin Court in Ligonier, Pa for members of the company's staff on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
John C. Schisler | Trib Total Media - Richard Mellon Scaife's Penguin Court. The staff of Trib Total Media awaiting the arrival of former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, to lead the memorial on a man, he said. ' was passionate about his country.'
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>John C. Schisler  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Richard Mellon Scaife's Penguin Court. The staff of Trib Total Media awaiting the arrival of former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, to lead the memorial on a man, he said. ' was passionate about his country.'
John C. Schisler | Trib Total Media - The staff of Trib Total Media listen to former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, lead a memorial remembering Richard Mellon Scaife, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>John C. Schisler  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>The staff of Trib Total Media listen to former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, lead a memorial remembering Richard Mellon Scaife, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
Stephanie Strasburg | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Attorney Yale Gutnick talks to Trib Total Media employees about his long time friend and Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife at Penguin Court in Ligonier during a memorial in Scaife's honor on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg  |  TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Attorney Yale Gutnick talks to Trib Total Media employees about his long time friend and Trib Total Media publisher Richard Mellon Scaife at Penguin Court in Ligonier during a memorial in Scaife's honor on Saturday, August 2, 2014.

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By Salena Zito and Mike Wereschagin
Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, 6:57 p.m.
 

An unlikely friendship drew former President Bill Clinton to a sunny hilltop in the Laurel Highlands on Saturday, where he paid tribute to the late Tribune-Review owner Richard Mellon Scaife.

“If someone had asked me the day I left the White House what's the single most unlikely thing I would ever do, this would rank high on the list,” Clinton told about 150 Trib Total Media employees, who gathered around the pool at Scaife's boyhood home in Penguin Court for the memorial. Scaife died July 4, a day after his 82nd birthday.

A founder and funder of conservative think tanks and advocacy groups, Scaife's opposition to Clinton marked much of the latter's two terms as president. But the acrimony softened after Clinton left office in 2001, and the two became friends, with Scaife supporting Clinton's foundation and his wife's 2008 presidential campaign.

Clinton said he's “grateful” to former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a mutual friend, for convincing Clinton that he and Scaife had more in common than he thought. The two met on July 31, 2007, in the Harlem offices of the Clinton Foundation. Scaife later donated more than $100,000 to the foundation.

“Our differences are important. Our political differences, our philosophical differences, our religious differences, our racial and ethnic differences, they're important. They help us to define who we are,” Clinton said. “But they don't have to keep us at arm's length from others.”

Clinton used his reconciliation with Scaife and the friendship the two forged as an example of what's missing in conflicts from Capitol Hill to Gaza.

“I think the counterintuitive friendship we formed is a good symbol of Richard Mellon Scaife's legacy. He fought as hard as he could for what he believed, but he never thought he had to be blind or deaf” to re-evaluating his positions, no matter how closely held, Clinton said.

The description “counterintuitive” was borrowed from his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who used the word to describe her meeting with Tribune-Review reporters and editors in 2008, during the hotly contested Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylvania.

The paper's editorial board endorsed Hillary Clinton in the April primary election, and Scaife penned an opinion piece praising the New York Democrat.

“You need to know that she treasures that column and that experience,” Clinton said.

The sprawling hilltop estate in Ligonier, with sweeping views of the Laurel Highlands, was named for the 10 penguins that once roamed the grounds after Scaife's mother, Sarah, bought them following a famed Antarctic expedition by Richard Byrd.

H. Yale Gutnick, Scaife's longtime friend and attorney, introduced the 42nd president, saying Scaife asked him before his death to invite Clinton to the memorial to make it a special day. Gutnick is chairman of the Trib Total Media board of directors.

A 50-room mansion built by Scaife's parents once stood on the estate. After they died, Scaife built his own estate, Vallamont, on a nearby mountain in 1961. He tore down the stone mansion at Penguin Court, but preserved a portion of the broad stone foundation that extends from the hillside and supports a wide, flat lawn, as well as the property's cobblestone driveway, ornate stone benches and 120-foot-long greenhouse. A passionate horticulturalist who kept fresh flowers throughout his homes, he built a conservatory near where the house once stood.

Scaife willed the property and $15 million for its maintenance to the Philadelphia-area Brandywine Conservancy, on whose board of trustees he served.

Clinton said he was “moved” by a series of columns Scaife wrote in the Trib, first announcing his terminal cancer and then explaining the passions of his life, newspapers chief among them.

“I wish he'd have been able to write more,” Clinton said. “I was really moved by what he said about all of you and journalism as a profession and making sure that his papers were in a position to be there for our children and our grandchildren.”

Salena Zito and Mike Wereschagin are Trib Total Media staff writers.

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