Yes, Hillary Clinton received multiple standing ovations while attending a show on Broadway this weekend. So the Big Apple loves her, right? There’s no doubt some truth to that, but do they love her enough to give Bill de Blasio the boot and install her as mayor? For some reason this is turning into the absurd rumor that simply won’t die. Allahpundit tore into it admirably last week, explaining from a few different angles why the rumor makes no sense and is most likely vaporware.

That was certainly my initial impression. But if we’re all correct about it, why was Jake Tapper asking the question of one of Clinton’s close confidantes during his Sunday morning show? Particularly since you know that Jake rarely asks a question of the panel that he doesn’t already know the answer to and the Clinton insider swatted the rumor down yet again. (CNN)

Hillary Clinton confidante Neera Tanden says she doesn’t expect Clinton to run for New York City mayor — or anything else, ever again.

“I think she’s going to figure out ways to help kids and families. That’s been what she’s been focused on her whole life, and a lot of issues that are affecting them, over the next couple of years,” Tanden told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday.

“But I don’t expect her to ever run for any elected office again,” she said.

Tanden, a close Clinton ally and the head of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, was shooting down reports of chatter in New York political circles that Clinton could run against incumbent Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Here’s the video of the answer, just in case you’re looking for any hint of subterfuge or a wink and a nod.

So if this story is really nothing more than onanistic fantasy material for a bored political press corps, why is Tapper dredging it up? Is he just short of material after his vacation or has he picked up the scent of a real story here? The only plausible thread I’ve picked up on so far was the one from Jim Geraghty, who speculated that Clinton needs to keep some sort of official government job or people will stop flushing money into the foundation. But even that doesn’t make all that much sense because the sphere of influence for the Mayor of New York City is much smaller, particularly on the global schmoozing market.

Plus, I can’t get past the question of whether or not an ego like Clinton’s could even risk the possibility of losing yet again. Oh, sure… she could win the general election in a landslide. But she’d need to beat a guy in the primary who not only ran her 2000 Senate campaign, but is a seated incumbent with massive far left credentials. Yeah, he’s under some investigations for corruption and money laundering, but find me a viable Democrat in New York City who isn’t these days. That’s not going to cool down the enthusiasm of the voters in his base.

If Clinton decides to go head to head with de Blasio, I’m leaning toward Allahpundit’s take on how it might backfire on her.

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.

This analysis rings true if we assume that all things remain equal from two years ago. But the final point to consider is that Clinton is two years older than when she finalized her decision to run for President. And those were two damned hard, long years. We also saw some serious questions about her health and stamina exposed during the fight. They may have been somewhat overblown for effect, but Clinton is no spring chicken and could probably do with a lower stress environment than the campaign trail.

When it comes to the Clintons you can never rule anything out 100%, but in this case I’ll believe it when I see it. I think she’s done. And what’s more, I think the foundation is pretty much over also. The era of Big Clinton is behind us… at least until Chelsea starts ramping up her Senate campaign.