Good lord: People are seriously pushing this “Hillary for mayor” thing?
posted at 8:41 pm on January 6, 2017 by Allahpundit
While the answer would almost certainly be no, supporters of Mrs. Clinton and former members of her staff appear to have been happy to let the speculation spread from closed-door gatherings of donors and allies, where it has been discussed among the many hypothetical future jobs Ms. Clinton might pursue, to more public forums…
“I heard it three times in the two days I was on the Hill,” said Bradley Tusk, a former top aide to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg who has been actively courting potential challengers to Mr. de Blasio…
“The best platform to change the world is the White House,” said Stu Loeser, a former longtime aide to Mr. Bloomberg. “And a pretty close second is running one of the three biggest cities in the United States.”
People close to Clinton told the Times “she was almost certainly not interested in being mayor” but the New York Daily News heard from “a well-placed source” that she didn’t rule it out when the idea came up in conversation with a “top Democrat” recently. So it … might happen, but it almost certainly won’t, yet theoretically it could, which is enough to justify a few dozen stories on the idea across media. Dave Weigel notes that there’s nothing easier in political journalism than cooking up a “Hillary planning to run for X” story, as the press has been cranking those out for nearly 20 years now. There are so many rich friends and party apparatchiks in the Clintons’ orbit, and the drama of Hillary running for anything is and has been so irresistible, that you can always find someone willing to give you a quote that she’s open to running for such-and-such or hasn’t ruled out running for this or that. Take the usual “Hillary running?” blather and toss in the allure of New York City, a juicy political comeback narrative, and the conflict inherent in her primarying the guy who ran her 2000 Senate campaign and how could the press not inflate this balloon? They get bored too, after all. And when you’re bored and tasked with writing about politics, nothing’s more fun than speculating about yet another humiliating Clinton defeat.
Just look at the fun Frank Bruni’s having imagining Mayor Hillary toying with President Trump:
The potholes near his properties go unfilled. Those neighborhoods are the last to be plowed. There’s a problem with the flow of water to his Bronx golf course, whose greens are suddenly brown. And the Russian Consulate keeps experiencing power failures. It’s the darnedest thing. Clinton vows to look into it, just as soon as she returns from the Hamptons…
And she’s the belle of the international ball. When foreign dignitaries cycle through the United Nations, they make sure to drop by City Hall, especially because she was once the country’s secretary of state. She winds up meeting with some of them more often than Trump does. He handles this as any grown-up in a position of extraordinary responsibility would, with crack-of-dawn tweets about what a lumpy loser Angela Merkel is and where he places her on a scale of 1 to Melania…
The city’s Mexican Day Parade would be rerouted, from Madison Avenue over to Fifth, right past Trump Tower. A new city zoning experiment would locate detention centers in the strangest places. And in the city’s libraries, “The Art of the Deal” would be impossible to find, while upfront, on vivid display, there’d be copies galore of “It Takes a Village” and “Hard Choices.”
The promise of years of new antagonism between Trump and Hillary is part of this too for the media. If she ran for mayor of any random large city, that’d be interesting. If she ran for mayor of Trump’s city, well, that’s a “House of Cards” plotline.
One addendum to last night’s post: If Hillary did run, I wonder whether she’d be better or worse received running so soon after her presidential defeat than she’d be if she ran several years down the line. Will her reputation on the left get better or worse with time and distance from the Great Upset? Her running next year against de Blasio would rub New Yorkers the wrong way, I think, because it’d smell of desperation. The sense from her campaign would be that she needs to hold some major office but she didn’t win the one she wanted so now she’s grabbing at the nearest available back-up. She wants a title, any title, and make it snappy. If she ran for something in, say, 2020, though, the risk would be Democrats looking at her as old news and wondering why she can’t find a hobby and leave well enough alone already. If she’s going to run for anything ever again, maybe she’s better off doing it sooner rather than later. Especially since she’s approaching 70.
Exit question via Jim Geraghty: If nothing else, some well-placed rumors that she’s looking at the mayor’s race will keep the donations to the Clinton Foundation flowing, no?