Hillary Clinton cut her teeth on the Watergate scandal. As a counsel for the House Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry staff, she made it her mission to topple President Nixon. Hillary helped drafted a document that would provide the legal basis for three articles of impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee's former chief counsel, Jerome Zeifman, later revealed that the Hillary-penned document changed the existing impeachment protocols in order to burn Nixon. According to Clinton biographer David Maraniss, Hillary believed Nixon was "evil."
Yet more than any other political personality, Hillary resembles her nemesis. Not in policy matters: Nixon was a center-right politician, while Hillary is a far-left radical posing as a centrist. But in terms of career path, Hillary has clearly patterned herself after the man she loved to hate.
Nixon's entire career consisted of disastrous circumstances followed by miraculous recoveries. He was the ultimate survivor.
His career truly began in 1948, when Nixon bullishly pursued Alger Hiss, correctly suspecting that Hiss was working for the Soviets. Nixon's prominent role catapulted him to national prominence.
In 1952, two years after Nixon won a Senate seat, Dwight Eisenhower selected him as his running mate. After serving two terms with Eisenhower, Nixon narrowly lost his bid for the presidency in 1960 to John F. Kennedy.
In 1962, Nixon met his lowest point to date: defeat in the California gubernatorial election. "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore," Nixon famously told the press, "because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." His image was in tatters. For the next six years, Nixon held no elected office.
In 1966, Nixon's hard campaigning for Republican candidates garnered him widespread popularity within his party. In 1968, Nixon's rejuvenation earned him the Republican presidential nomination and then the presidency. It was an astonishing political turnaround.
The Watergate scandal of 1974 seemed to put Nixon down for the count. But once again, Nixon was able to rehabilitate his image, playing a substantial role in U.S. foreign relations until his death in 1994.
Hillary's career has followed a similarly up-and-down path. She claims to be the ultimate survivor. But she is not. While Nixon regained his political standing through his own efforts, Hillary has survived because of her power merger with Bill Clinton.
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