Mort Zuckerman Could Make This Race Very Interesting

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In his farewell op-ed today, Harold Ford Jr. claimed that he was ending his pseudo-campaign because he didn't want a bruising Democratic primary battle to "help Republicans win a Senate seat in New York." Another reason is, reportedly, because Ford's moneyed friends were willing to jump right onto the bandwagon of Mort Zuckerman, the owner of the Daily News, whose candidacy is looking increasingly possible.

After getting a good response to the Times trial balloon a couple of weeks ago, Zuckerman is seriously mulling entering the race as a business-minded but socially liberal Republican-Independent in the mold of Mike Bloomberg when he first ran for mayor. Zuckerman has a ton of money, a fairly clear Republican field, and a vulnerable opponent in Gillibrand. So what's stopping him? One, he's 72, which is kind of an awkward time to become one of the least senior members of the Senate. Also, he has a fairly quirky private life, one that will inevitably be intruded upon. The mother of his 2-year-old child is a mystery, for example:


The Daily News in 2008 ran an announcement congratulating Zuckerman on the birth of a daughter but made no mention of the child's mother, prompting head-scratching in New York media circles. Recent visitors to his apartment said a baby is often present but that it’s considered impolite to inquire about the baby’s provenance.

“Those are obnoxious questions,” [spokesman Ken] Frydman said in an e-mail. “So I’m not gonna ask him to answer them.”

We don't know — "Where did you get that baby?" seems like kind of a natural question to ask.

Harold Ford bolts; Mort Zuckerman rises [Politico]