Monday, June 28, 2010

With Mayor as Companion, a Senate Run Was a No-Go by Michael Barbaro - City Room Blog -

Is this woman just naive or ignorant...She wonders why Republican Senate leadership would want her to run for the senate with her non-Republican social views...Well, do you think her boyfriend's BILLIONS have anything to do with it...?? Duh...It's the same reason the NYS Republican senate campaign committee and the Independence Party never objected to Bloomberg's money...And, now she's endorsing former Wall Street hedge fund operator Reshma Saujani against Carolyn Maloney...This after these people nearly imploded our national and the world economy...Have these people ever met a rich person they didn't like..?

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Blame the mayor –- or at least the tricky nature of two-career couples.

Diana L. Taylor, the former New York state banking superintendent and the companion of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, acknowledged Monday for the first time that she “really wanted” to run for the United States Senate as a Republican this year, but decided against it because of her boyfriend’s day job.

“My significant other is the mayor of New York City, so that would be really complicated,” she told the audience at a fund-raiser for David Malpass, a Republican contender for the Senate seat she coveted.

“So I decided not to run,” Ms. Taylor said, adding that by sitting out the race, she would leave Mr. Bloomberg “running New York City without having to worry about this other thing.”

It was Ms. Taylor’s most detailed -– and her only public -– discussion of her Senate ambitions, which were heavily encouraged by state and national Republican leaders, who are seeking a big-name candidate to challenge the Democratic incumbent, Kirsten E. Gillibrand.

And it was a small but telling glimpse into the relationship between two of New York City’s most high-powered people: Mr. Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul, and Ms. Taylor, a director at Citigroup, the giant bank, the chairwoman of Accion, a leading microfinance lender, and the chairwoman of the Hudson River Park Trust, which oversees the waterfront park on the West Side of Manhattan.

In her remarks, Ms. Taylor said she was surprised by the enthusiasm of national Republican leaders, like Senators Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, who tried to recruit her to run earlier this year. She recalled warning them that “my social outlook is not particularly Republican,” because she “is totally for gun control” and supports abortion rights.

Even though Ms. Taylor and the mayor disagreed on the wisdom of her candidacy, they clearly share a deep skepticism of career politicians. She said she seriously weighed a Senate run because “I was so angry” at events unfolding in Washington, where, she said, lawmakers charged with reforming the nation’s financial system possessed “no understanding” of the markets and “were doing it for political reasons every step of the way.”

She quoted a friend’s description of elected officials in Washington — although it seemed like she was speaking for herself. “Every politician in office today is concerned about three things,” she said. “Number one: getting elected or re-elected. The second thing is making sure that their party is in control. The third thing is so far behind that it doesn’t really matter.”

Her endorsement of Mr. Malpass, a former Treasury official in the Reagan administration and economist at Bear Stearns, is the latest sign of her interest in the political sphere. She recently endorsed a Democratic Congressional candidate in New York, Reshma Saujani, who is challenging Representative Carolyn B. Maloney.

The fund-raiser took place within the wood-paneled confines of the Women’s National Republican Club on West 51st Street in Midtown, where portraits of Ronald Reagan compete for space with those of Barbara Bush. Ms. Taylor praised Mr. Malpass’s long record in government and the private sector as she introduced him.

“We need people like you in the U.S Senate who understand the economy, think about the issues and have done their homework,” she said before an audience of several dozen women, who donated at least $200 a person.

She added, “The thing that struck me about David was, I was hearing from him all the things I would want to do in the Senate.”

Mr. Malpass is promoting himself as a political outsider and fiscal conservative (not unlike Mr. Bloomberg, or, for that matter, Ms. Taylor). In his remarks, Mr. Malpass railed against what he said was excessive spending, unbridled deficits and unnecessary taxes imposed by lawmakers in Washington.

At times, the fund-raiser seemed like the Taylor-Malpass show. When Mr. Malpass was asked about his stance supporting abortion rights, and how it would play with national Republicans, Ms. Taylor politely interrupted with a brief summary of her own experience with the party’s leaders.

Ms. Taylor said she was “really surprised” at how welcoming they were to her liberal social views. The Republican officials with whom she met, she said, acknowledged that the party’s candidates in New York would hold different views from those in more conservative sections of the country.

At another point, Mr. Malpass asked Ms. Taylor to weigh in when he was asked how Hispanic voters were reacting to President Obama’s health care overhaul.

Ms. Taylor observed that Hispanic voters were more conservative than many political observers realized. “At this point,” she said, “they are leaving the Democratic Party in droves.”