The Mayor's Right Hand Woman Speaks Out

Diana Taylor talks about her flirtation with the idea of running for office in an exclusive interview with NBCNewYork

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An NBCNewYork exclusive:Diana Taylor speaks to Melissa Russo about her flirtation with the idea of running for office.Could she run for Senate in 2012 or Mayor in 2013? Also how does she feel about term limits and campaign spending? (Both touchy subjects for Mike Bloomberg...)

    Diana Taylor is the woman in Mayor Bloomberg's life and so much more. She tells NBCNewYork she's "flattered" that others are urging her to run for office.

    "I never in a million years would have thought of myself as a politician."

    She downplays the odds that she'll run but clearly keeps her options open.

    Taylor is a lifelong Republican but crosses party lines with ease.

    She's campaigning for Democrat Reshma Saujani who's trying to unseat Carolyn Maloney this year.

    Taylor's resume is impressive.

    Marist Pollster Lee Miringoff predicted she would be "a force to be reckoned with" in a race for Mayor. And other prominent political analysts have said she would offer moderate New Yorkers who liked Bloomberg a strong female alternative to a field of Democratic career politicians.

    Of course she would have to convince skeptics that she's qualified and would offer more than just "Bloomberg's fourth term."

    Taylor served as NY State Banking Superintendent. Currently, she invests a private equity fund, and chairs the Hudson River Park Trust. She also serves on multiple boards including Citigroup, Sotheby's, the NY Womens Foundation, and Accion, a leading international micro-finance organization.

    Taylor has decades of experience working in finance. She says lawmakers in Washington should have a better understanding of how the financial markets work. And she seems generally dissatisfied with the quality of candidates attracted to elective office.

    Mayor Bloomberg may agree with Taylor's political views but he has stopped short of saying the same things publicly, in an attempt to preserve his working relationships.

    In an interview with NBCNewYork, however, Taylor, questions Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

    "I could be totally wrong," Taylor says, "But from where I sit, she changes positions on things really quickly and it's not clear to me why those positions have changed." Taylor says Gillibrand is "smart" and "hardworking" but adds, "I think people admire people and respect people who have positions that are well thought out and stick with them."

    On Gillibrand's evolving positions on gun control, Taylor says voters respect representatives who "don't change just because they're representing someone else on something as fundamental as guns."

    As for the Governor's race, Taylor says she's disappointed in the major disparity in fund-raising between Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Rick Lazio, calling the race "skewed." She goes a step further to say "you can't have a race when it's that skewed."

    Her comments on this subject may raise eyebrows because of Mayor Bloomberg's outsized spending in his three campaigns.

    Taylor says Cuomo is a "very smart man" but isn't sure if he'll be a good Governor. "Hopefully he will be a good Governor. We need one," she says.

    Taylor acknowledges that whatever she says may reflect on the Mayor but adds "I say what I believe."

    Mayor Bloomberg has refused to discuss the subject of Taylor potentially running for office, saying "You'll have to talk to Diana Taylor. I don't speak for her. "