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The only presidential candidate with 100% name recognition is in many ways a mystery in plain sight. Is Hillary Rodham Clinton the unreconstructed liberal of the right wing’s nightmares, the Wellesley College feminist who tried to shove universal health care down the throat of a recalcitrant nation? Is she the scheming politico who used the public’s sympathy, post-Monica, to propel herself to the Senate? Is she a centrist like her husband, forging pragmatic compromises across the aisle? Or is she a calculating perma-candidate who will say, do, endure and vote for anything that might help her become President? Is Hillary a harridan, a lesbian, a long-suffering wife? Did she kill Vincent Foster? Is she smarter than Bill?

Whatever else she is, and America will have at least the next year to find out, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the ultimate New Yorker. For starters, she’s from somewhere else. And like everyone who arrives here suitcase in hand, Hillary came to New York on a mission. Dancers, designers, bankers, writers, restaurateurs, or social activists-what all New York transplants share with Hillary is ambition, lofty as the highest skyscraper. And like most of us, she’s run into some relationship trouble and gotten few bad haircuts on her way to the top. Her pantsuits don’t make her a fashion icon, but that gleam in Hillary’s eye, the one you can see even in her Wellesley yearbook photo, that gleam ought to inspire anyone who seeks to conquer the Empire State, and then the world.


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