Run Hillary…Run?

Hilary Brad Bennion

While preparations begun in Washington D.C. for this year’s inauguration, the national spotlight was still shining on Hillary Clinton. Following her stunning loss to now-President Donald Trump, Clinton has seemingly gone off the grid, choosing to stay away from interviews and the public eye. Indeed, it appears that the lifetime politician and former first lady is taking her time to recuperate after a grueling election season. Yet, her public retreat hasn’t quelled speculations that Clinton is already considering another run for government office—this time, in her home of New York City.

It’s no secret that current mayor, Bill de Blasio, isn’t exactly the most popular figure in New York. While he connects strongly with minority groups, de Blasio’s veritable progressivism hasn’t earned him popularity with numerous figures in the Big Apple. As CBS reported, “…[New York City] is suffering from crises that go…from the Bronx’s outbreak of Legionnaires disease to the surge in street homelessness.” Combined with his tendency to suggest outlandish policies, mayor de Blasio is close to reaching his lowest approval rating since taking office in 2013. Thus, barely two months after her devastating loss to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is “being urged by major Democratic donors and leaders to make a bid for New York City’s mayor and challenge incumbent Bill de Blasio.” This could pose a significant issue for the incumbent, who has already begun efforts to secure his reelection this November.

Although Bill de Blasio once shared ties with Hillary Clinton, that relationship began to fade when he refused to endorse Hillary’s bid. While he later endorsed Clinton’s campaign, his days spent running her 2000 Senate campaign quickly became irrelevant. Instead, that once close bond between the two has been eroded, which have only furthered the rumors that Hillary Clinton will make a run for mayor. Though Clinton hasn’t officially commented on these speculations, she hasn’t denied these claims explicitly, despite the growing tide of reports citing her possible interest in the position.

Even though Clinton has spent years away from her office in New York, she is still a popular figure, especially within the interconnected circle of donors who would readily support her campaign. Indeed, when Hillary last ran for Senator in 2006, she won by a staggering 36%. Indeed, it would be fitting for Clinton to end her lifetime career in government service where it truly began in 2000. Furthermore, if Clinton were to win the coming mayoral race, she would also spite the president-elect, who commonly cites New York City as his home.

Hoping to keep his seat, reports have arisen that advisors for de Blasio “asked around to make sure there was no validity to the Clinton rumors and were assured there was not.” Bearing in mind their tenuous relationship, however, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Clinton campaign is reveling in keeping everyone squirming. Currently, Bill de Blasio is heading into his race with few opponents. Should Hillary decide to run for mayor, her recent loss would likely give Democrats reason to reenergize their party in a significant city.

Yet, despite the rumors that Hillary Clinton is eyeing one last run for political office, there is a fair amount of practicality that must be considered. The presidential race likely left Clinton with a stark sense of defeat, seeing as many never anticipated Trump’s victory. As many former staffers and close advisors for Clinton have recently said, she is almost certainly not going to run for mayor. As the NY Daily News reported, “It is much easier to identify her with national and international issues than it is to identify her with urban local issues.” So why hasn’t Clinton already dispelled the rumors that she would consider running for mayor? Well, there’s the real possibility that Clinton wants to remain relevant. Following her nearly 40 years in the spotlight, it’s hard to imagine that she would accept being irrelevant.

Whether Clinton decides to run for mayor or not, she has harnessed the power to create news without uttering a single word.

n.coleman@dailyutahchronicle.com