Following a lengthy profile by Politico’s Ben Smith, the Internet is awash with talk of a potential Senate bid by New York Daily News and U.S. News and World Report publisher Mort Zuckerman.
Smith’s profile accomplishes a lot. It suggests that Harold Ford’s recent decision not to run reflects Zuckerman’s strength as a candidate. It reveals that Democratic donors had conveyed to Ford that they would support Zuckerman if he entered the race. It suggests reasons why Zuckerman may not run — he values his private life and his friend Mike Bloomberg has told him that it would be very frustrating for such a successful man to be at the bottom of the Senate pecking order. Toward the tail end, the piece tries to pin down Zuckerman, characterizing him as a “Democrat in the Joe Lieberman model” and noting various foibles and quirks that could pose problems for him as a candidate.
One thing it does not do: say whether Mort will run, or offer a clear assessment of his potential with voters. Many commentators have linked to and summarized Smith’s profile today, in an effort to answer those questions.
After the jump, we provide you with a series of links relating to Zuckerman’s potential run at the Senate, in chronological order, to help you make head or tail of the story. Or at least, head or tail of the speculative media reaction.
— A Feb. 12 New York Times article indicated Zuckerman was thinking of running. Smith’s profile today refers to this story as a “trial balloon.”
— A Feb. 17 story in the Albany Times-Union quotes New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox saying Zuckerman had talked with him about running for Senate.
— On Feb. 15, The New York Post, bitter rival to Zuckerman’s Daily News, encourages Zuckerman to run. The Awl responds with a catalog of all the nasty things the Post has said about Mort over the years.
— Today, David Carr of The New York Times‘ Media Decoder blog links to and quotes extensively from the aforementioned Albany Times-Union piece.
— Also today, Gawker’s Alex Pareene offers a portrait of Zuckerman the person, the businessman, the politician.
— Also today, New York Magazine jumps in with a story whose headline cutely summarizes the takeaway from today’s Policio profile: “Mort Zuckerman Could Make This Race Very Interesting.”
After all that, it’s not much clearer whether Mort will run. One thing is sure, though. It takes a lot of ink to develop even a half-clear sense of what Zuckerman is thinking, or how the public would receive him as a Senate candidate.