Like Nixon, Hillary began her career by targeting a public figure: Nixon himself. Hillary's involvement in Watergate launched her career, but it was her marriage to Bill Clinton in 1975 that truly ensured an upward trend. Bill was elected Arkansas attorney general in 1976 and governor of Arkansas in 1978. Meanwhile, Hillary was appointed by Jimmy Carter to the board of the Legal Services Corp. in 1978.
Hillary's career languished during the two years that Bill Clinton was not in office. She was relegated to borrowing money from Clinton's business partner, James McDougal, until her husband's re-election in 1982.
The early 1990s were Hillary's lowest point. With questions about Whitewater surfacing, Hillary finally exploded, blaming the press for sullying her image. "You know, I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas," she railed, "but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life." It wasn't quite Nixonian, but it was close.
Hillary's greatest defeat came in 1993. After her husband appointed her head of the Task Force on National Health Care, Hillary recommended nationalizing the health care industry. Her plan was completely rejected and led to the first House Republican majority in decades.
But there was Bill, helping Hillary climb out of the pit once again. The Monica Lewinsky scandal helped Hillary rehabilitate her image. At first, she denied Bill's wrongdoing and blamed the "vast right-wing conspiracy." Then, she played the innocent wife cuckolded. Her popularity soared. Her election to the Senate in 2000 confirmed that her fortunes were rising, and fast.
But finally, Hillary has hit her Watergate. Her new book, Living History, is a cover-up in purely Nixonian fashion. She says that the purpose of Whitewater was merely "to discredit the president and the administration and slow down its momentum … (Whitewater was) investigation as a weapon for political destruction."
Most egregiously, Hillary claims that she was completely ignorant of her husband's sexual adventurism. "I could hardly breathe. Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him, 'What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me?’" Yeah, right.
Hillary has become what she most hates: a scandal-ridden politician enmeshed in a series of cover-ups. Like Nixon, she will fall. Unlike Nixon, she does not have the personal strength to rise alone.