Alas, it was not Charlie Rangel
or David Paterson
saying goodbye last night, but Mort Zuckerman, who had barely even said hello.
There was a brief shining moment when it looked like Zuckerman, publisher of the Daily News and real estate mogul extraordinaire, would run against Kirsten Gillibrand for the U.S. Senate. The instant this news hit, several score of Zuckerman's News employees -- current and former -- volunteered to cover his race. "Count me in!" bellowed a typical e-mail from an ex-Newser who goes under the handle "Tab Lloyd."
Zuckerman sent his regrets via an un-bylined article that went up on the News' own website last night. He also granted a brief interview to the Times. "I was encouraged by many major political figures in New York to look closely at running for Senate," Zuckerman told his anonymous employee. "However, at this time, it is very difficult to see how I can devote the necessary time to either a campaign, or to working in Washington, if I were to win."
Not that he thought victory was a long shot. He told the Times' Michael Barbaro that he would have been a shoe-in. "I really thought this was something I could have won, without question," he said.
The News' "No Byline Please!" reporter added a personal note as well: "Mr. Zuckerman pointed out that he has a young family, which is the most important focus in his life."
As well they should be, whoever they are.