In the “single compact arena” of New York, E.B. White wrote, a gladiator and a promoter can come together in a city vibrating with great undertakings. “These two names, for the last two or three decades, represent what has been incredible and vulgar about this country at the same time,” says the Manhattan ad man and television personality Donny Deutsch. “We can trace our downfalls or upticks as a society through them.” The story of how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton rose and reinvented themselves and embraced and brawled is the story of New York itself. It is a tale of power, influence, class, society and ambition that might have intrigued Edith Wharton, whose family once owned a grand home down the block from what is now Trump Tower.
When we discuss this campaign cycle in the future, another component of the history, that isn’t being discussed so much now, will be how intertwined these two people—and their families—were so far in advance of their actual battle. Star-crossed lovers, even.