Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, but she beat him in their shared-hometown of New York rather handedly, where the former Democratic candidate received over 1.7 million more votes than the president-elect. Now, as Clinton has quietly been licking her wounds in upstate Chappaqua while her former opponent prepares to pack up and move from Trump Towers to the White House, the Big Apple is wondering whether their former senator and Democratic candidate would run for a smaller office: mayor of New York City.

Rumors swirled the former secretary of state could consider a run against her former campaign manager, New York’s current Mayor Bill de Blasio, in the state’s 2017 mayoral election. New York local newspaper Times Ledger suggested the mayor’s unsteady approval ratings and a bevy of potential candidates for mayor put de Blasio in a "weakened position" that could prove to benefit Clinton if she did, in fact, decide to run for the position.

"Clinton would make a strong candidate if she decides to run since she has her main political organization for the most part in place in New York City," the paper’s William Lewis wrote Dec. 28. "She has options available and we will have to wait to see how it finally turns out."

RTSCVVK Hillary Clinton raised hands with Senator Chuck Schumer during a campaign rally at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York March 30, 2016. Photo: Reuters

The conservative outlet Newsmax similarly reported Clinton was being "urged by major Democratic donors and leaders" to run for the mayoral position in her home state, noting the former candidate had been discussing the opportunity to run in New York with her inner circle.

"She is wildly popular among New Yorkers — so much so that were she to file, de Blasio would have to file his retirement papers on the same day," Hank Sheinkopf, New York Democratic consultant and a top-operative in former President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, told the site Wednesday.

If Clinton decided to run against de Blasio, it could strain the pair's longtime relationship as New York Democrats and colleagues who have supported each other in multiple state and general elections. However, Clinton has seemed to distance herself from the mayor in recent years after de Blasio’s initially weak endorsement for the Democratic candidate in the 2016 presidential race. 

If a Mayor Clinton is eventually in New York’s political future, it wouldn’t be unprecedented: Plenty of failed presidential candidates have gone on to have lasting political careers, including current Secretary of State John Kerry, who lost in 2004 to former President George W. Bush. Former Vice President Al Gore, who ran a failed campaign against President Bush in 2000, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change seven years later. John McCain remains a U.S. senator after losing to President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.