It is a twist of history not likely to be lost on Hillary Rodham Clinton that only one person in modern times has managed to win the presidency after roughly two decades as a famous and polarizing figure in the first rank of political life. His name: Richard M. Nixon.
The Nixon example comes to mind not only because Clinton is in the midst of re-tooling herself and her staff for a 2016 campaign that will presumably introduce at least some version of a “New Hillary,” but because the bombshell news that she kept at least 55,000 pages of business emails sent during her tenure as Secretary of State on a private account has struck some observers as, well, Nixonian.
“This is like the Nixon tapes, in a sense,” said Ken Khachigian, who was a young speechwriter on Nixon’s White House staff and is now a grizzled veteran of California’s Republican political wars. “Everybody wanted access. We resisted, and then they were eked out in death by a thousand cuts. Finally they were expropriated and now belong to the archives.”