The Times' Michael Barbaro tells us today that for a while there, there was a chance that newbie incumbent Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand could have had a very viable, and very threatening, foe. Former state banking superintendent Diana Taylor is a socially progressive Republican with upstate and city political cred, and was very seriously considering challenging Gillibrand. She was encouraged by local GOP leaders and even traveled to Washington to talk with Republican Senate bigs Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn.
Charming, glamorous, and prescient on the country's recent financial crisis — before the fall, she was railing for more local oversight and accusing banks of peddling exotic financial products to consumers who didn't understand them — Taylor would have surely been able to woo voters and donors alike. But ultimately, she chose not to run — she didn't yet want to disentangle herself from her charitable and public work, and there was another problem even closer to home: her boyfriend, Michael Bloomberg. Living with the mayor of New York City, who is constantly hitting up Washington for money, would have been a very prickly position for a senator. But the Third Terminator exits office in three years, by which time Taylor will still be short of 60 and game for a fight. In the meantime, she's advising and backing Reshma Saujani, the Democratic upstart challenging eighteen-year incumbent Carolyn Maloney.