Mort Zuckerman, who has been cagey about reports that he’s moving to run for Senate, has been meeting with Republican leaders across the state to feel out the possibility of running on their line. The registered Democrat, whose lefty political leanings are well known from his years of columns in U.S. News and World Report and the Daily News (both publications he owns), is betting that voter unrest will be enough to give the GOP a chance to win the race for the first time since 1992. According to Michael Barbaro in the Times, Zuckerman has met with former governor George Pataki, state party chairman Edward F. Cox, and other officials — and is considering hiring GOP operatives to win them over, per Pataki’s advice. (Barbaro also reports, meanwhile, that Harold Ford has just completed a statewide telephone poll gauging his chances in the same race.)
Mortimer’s not only making moves on the political front, though. The Observer today reports that he’s hired the brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield to look for new offices for the Daily News. The tabloid has operated out of a spacious (but heinous) converted warehouse at 450 West 33rd Street for fifteen years now. It could just be a move to scare the landlord, Broadway Partners, into lowering the rent. But as Zuckerman faces potentially having to abandon direct control of his beloved paper in exchange for a political career, leaving the desolation of the far West Side would at least give his staffers something nice to remember him by.