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Comeback Queen? In New York, the Hillary rumours won't go away

The Democrat will attend Trump’s inauguration tomorrow – but will she run for office again?

THE PROSPECT OF a Hillary Clinton comeback after her shock loss to Donald Trump could hardly be less certain, but in New York where she is revered, plenty of people dream of her running for mayor.

Her public appearances since the election have been largely confined to walks in the woods close to her Chappaqua home, where she is photographed by neighbours mourning her defeat and repelled by the president-elect.

woods Margot Gerster snapped this photo with Clinton in Chappaqua in the wake of the election. Source: Margot Gerster/Facebook

The 69-year-old former secretary of state otherwise emerged to present pop star Katy Perry with an award at a UNICEF ball and has been photographed at smart restaurants such as the Polo Bar, dining with fashion designer Ralph Lauren who custom-made the pantsuit in which she conceded defeat to Trump.

Then there was also a December meeting with donors at which the New York Times said that she blamed her loss on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the late-hour FBI intervention over her email scandal.

In a city where nearly 80% of the electorate voted for her, Clinton can forget that she polarised the electorate and the millions of Americans who consider her the incarnation of an abhorrent political class.

Clinton Source: Sait Serkan Gurbuz

Earlier this month, she got a standing ovation on Broadway when she attended the last night of The Color Purple – in stark contrast to Vice President-elect Mike Pence who was booed and lectured when he went to Hamilton in November.

Tomorrow she will attend Trump’s inauguration – her first major appearance in months — when cameras will be watching for the slightest reaction from the woman who hoped to shatter the ultimate glass ceiling and become the first female commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful democracy.

While the Democrat lost the crucial Electoral College by 232 to 306, she won the popular vote by more than 2.7 million ballots – more than any white man as her supporters delight in pointing out.

Confidante Neera Tanden told CNN that Clinton would never run for office again, but several media outlets have reported on rumours and speculation that she’s been asked to consider a run for New York mayor this November.

The job would put her in charge of Trump’s hometown, but the fact that the current incumbent – Bill de Blasio – once managed her New York senate campaign and is running again, makes the prospect more unlikely.

Trump’s hometown foe 

But as the rumours have spread, Clinton has done nothing to give them credence or to shoot them down.

Even tabloid the New York Post, which was hostile to Clinton the presidential candidate, urged her to run against the left-leaning mayor it opposes.

“Secretary Clinton, we’d love to see you run for mayor. New York City needs you,” it wrote on January 6.

It listed her attributes and work ethic, and implied it would not be difficult for Clinton to become a city resident and build ties to city neighbourhoods.

“While it’s not the glass ceiling she hoped to break, New York has never had a woman mayor. Isn’t it past time for that to change?” finished the editorial.

Sam Abrams, professor of political science at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, told AFP that something “inconceivable” months ago was “not ridiculous at all” given the scale of New York’s antipathy to Trump.

Reid Portrait Clinton alongside Vice President Joe Biden last month. Source: Evan Vucci

“We live in a city that opposes him ideologically more than any other city on this planet,” said Abrams.

“She has been doing this for years… she has the money, the infrastructure, the experience,” he said.

If she wants to keep fighting – it is a great way to keep fighting.

The former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state also “brings all that star power that de Blasio does not have,” he advised.

“It’s a great opportunity to be an oppositional mayor to the president.”

Inauguration build-up

Separately, the build-up to Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States begins in Washington today, with several events scheduled.

Britain Trump Madame Tussauds Madame Tussauds' designers apply the final touches to the wax figure of US President-elect Donald Trump. Source: Frank Augstein

A day-long concert, featuring high school marching bands and groups like the DC Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, starts at 10.35am (3.35pm Irish time) at the Lincoln Memorial.

Later, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in honour of the nation’s veterans.

Trump will also deliver remarks during the second act of that concert at the Lincoln Memorial, dubbed the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration”. The event, broadcast live nationally, will be headlined by country stars Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood and feature a fireworks finale.

Trump is expected to spend tonight at Blair House, the presidential guest residence across the street from the White House.

© AFP, 2017 with reporting from Daragh Brophy

Read: Assange ‘standing by’ offer to be extradited to US – lawyer >

Read: Former Apprentice contestant sues Trump for defamation >

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