When it was reported last month that Mayor Bloomberg called Hillary Clinton to urge her to run for mayor in 2013, Hizzoner was highly offended that people would believe a story the New York Times corroborated with only three anonymous sources. That’s probably why the paper was sure to include confirmation from several of the other high-profile figures courted by Bloomberg in its latest piece on the mayor’s search for the perfect successor. The Times reports that in addition to Clinton, who received Bloomberg’s most formal solicitation, “conversations have occurred over dinners and by telephone, in tones both serious and playful,” with Senator Chuck Schumer, billionaire Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman, former Bloomberg deputy Edward Skyler, and former mayor of Philadelphia and governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell. While it’s long been presumed that Bloomberg planned to endorse City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, it seems he doesn’t feel she possesses wealth and fame required to hold such an incredibly important position. Rendell sums up Bloomberg’s predicament nicely: “The mayor believes he is special,” he says. “He wanted somebody at a very high level to come in to do a job he has often said to me — and he’s not the only person who says it — is the second most difficult job in the country.”
Clinton, Schumer, and Skyler, who is now an executive at Citigroup, had no comment on the matter, so we may never know why they turned down an opportunity to spend their days squabbling with local lawmakers. While Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson denied the claims that Bloomberg encouraged Schumer or Zuckerman to run, the media mogul said otherwise. “A lot of people have talked to me about that possibility,” Zuckerman said. “He’s not the only person.” He added that he would love to be mayor, and joked, “If I could be appointed, I’d probably be serious about it.” The major stumbling block to Rendell’s candidacy is the fact that he lives in Pennsylvania and is only familiar with Manhattan, where he grew up. “I’m not sure how many times I’ve stepped foot in Brooklyn,” he said. “I have no understanding of Queens and no understanding of the Bronx.”
Bloomberg may be overlooking another potential candidate standing right next to him (not his sign language interpreter, though he’s asked nearly everyone else). While it seemed that after months of dancing around the idea Ray Kelly had decided not to run, the Times reports that the police commissioner’s allies “are again discussing the idea of his entering the race as a Republican.” There’s still hope that the real election will be more interesting than the race involving Bloomberg’s fantasy team.