Sure, It's Admiration
Most likely, it's abject fear. My guess is that Scaife sees a Hillary Clinton presidency as very possible, He expects Clinton to wreak revenge for what she and her husband endured - he's the kind of person who thinks Clinton actually did order Deliverance-wannabes to castrate rapist Wayne Dumond - and is trying to ward off the attacks. Alternatively, Bill Clinton requested the meeting and read Scaife the riot act, telling Scaife that if he tries to repeat history and eagerly funds another smear campaign, Clinton will show no mercy.
There's another possibility, that Isikoff got the whole story wrong. But that couldn't be. It is Newsweek after all, and therefore the unspeakably snotty tone -or is it envy? - towards Clinton is the way All Of Us should view him. Look at that lede:
Bill Clinton is never at a loss for company. When he's not globe-trotting or charming audiences for as much as $400,000 a speech, he's often schmoozing visitors in his suite of offices in Harlem.And that's for starters. Isikoff's quite the joker.
[UPDATE: To those unfamiliar with how people in real life frequently perform obeisance or issue unequivocal threats over lunch, I am certainly not suggesting that the meeting wasn't entirely cordial, if not downright delightful. These things often are communicated en passant, a dropped word or inflection, that sort of thing. Often, the simple act of meeting is signal enough for everyone involved to get the message, so the conversation is about other topics: the weather, charity work, mutual friends, jokes, etc. ]