This Week in the Narrative: Hillary’s Waterloo
Rumors abound this week that Hillary Clinton is considering a run for mayor of New York City in 2017. What may have started as a bout of wishful thinking from conservative opponents of the city’s incumbent mayor Bill de Blasio is now being seriously discussed in The New York Times and elsewhere.
It would perhaps be unsurprising for Hillary to follow two presidential campaign defeats with a run for New York mayor. After all, if there is one overarching characteristic in the life and career of Hillary Clinton it is the unquenchable and unending thirst for power.
In 1814, after over a decade of empire building which left millions dead and France in control of much of Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte was finally defeated by a coalition of European nations. The victors would debate over what to do with the deposed Emperor, eventually deciding to exile Napoleon to Elba, a tiny island a mere 10 miles from the coast of Italy. Curiously, Napoleon was allowed the title of Emperor of the island, and was permitted to bring a small army of his most elite soldiers — the ‘Old Guard’ — with him.
Predictably, the exile was, for Napoleon’s enemies, a dramatic failure. Only the next year Napoleon and his army escaped the island and returned to France, where he would reclaim his throne and reignite war with the rest of Europe.
Eventually Napoleon’s second reign was ended with his definitive and historic defeat at Waterloo. But this time his enemies would not make the same mistake, exiling Napoleon to St. Helena, an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean 1200 miles from land. There he would spend his last days alone before dying.
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly promised that, if elected, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton; the policy position side to the “lock her up” chants so popular with his supporters. He was speaking to her alleged illegal email usage, but in reality could have been speaking of any number of scandals from a career built on corruption.
However, after being elected, Trump revealed that he would not, in fact, name a special prosecutor, stating “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways.”
Presumably he, like many of us, believed that, defeated and humiliated, Hillary would just go away; in place of Elba, the forests of upstate New York.
But just as Elba could not hold Napoleon, rumors of a New York mayoral run suggest Hillary’s exile will not contain her sociopathic need for power.
It is not difficult to imagine Hillary returning from exile with her ‘Old Guard’ to go once more unto the breach. But perhaps the mayor’s office is more means than ends. Perhaps it is the 2020 presidential race which will be Hillary’s Waterloo.