Skip to content

#tbt Richard Gephardt as Hamlet?


Some characterizations felt spot on. Rep. Richard Gephardt’s public mulling of whether to run for president pegged the Missouri Democrat as Hamlet. Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., was likened to Richard III “for being a victim of the climate he created,” one prescient reader said. But one entry stood out. Lou Bayard, the press secretary for Rep. Phil Sharp, D-Ind., claimed the crown. From the archives:  

“The judges found his entry well-balanced; we thought his R/G combo brilliant, his Hamlet very nice and his Falstaff superb.  

For sending in the best entry Lou gets two ticket to see ‘As You Like It’ at the Folger.  

‘It took me about a half-hour to do the whole thing,’ he told us after he was informed he’d won. ‘It was easy. Shakespeare’s characters are larger than life, and so are Members of Congress.'”  

Here’s Bayard’s all-star cast:

  • Hamlet: Al Gore.
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: Phil Gramm/Warren Rudman.
  • Othello: Bill Gray.
  • Iago: Bill Dannemeyer.
  • MacBeth: Bob Dole.
  • Lady MacBeth: Elizabeth Dole.
  • Portia: Pat Schroeder.
  • Falstaff: Henry Hyde.
  • Hotspur: Dan Rostenkowski.
  • Romeo: Dennis Eckert.
  • Puck: Mo Udall.
  • Richard II: Robert Byrd.
  • Richard III: Gingrich.
  • Brutus: Tom Foley.
  • Cassius: Tony Coelho.
  • Caesar: Jim Wright.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.