Republicans keep talking about Ray Kelly, who still isn’t doing a thing

Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly. ()
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Ray Kelly, and the prospect that he might run for mayor in 2013, has been the subject of lots of speculation this week.

Nothing has changed, as far as anyone can tell: Kelly has long been one of the most popular public officials in New York, and would certainly be a formidable mayoral candidate if he actually became one; it has long been a fantasy of city Republicans and many non-Republican members of the political and business establishments that he run; at no point has Kelly ever acknowledged that he was interested. 

Yet there's been an upsurge in chatter, traceable, in part, to a Fred Dicker column in which glory-days state G.O.P. chairman Bill Powers made the intriguing straw argument that Kelly hadn't been interested in running, but might be motivated to do so now, to prove a point to the liberal media that has been asking questions about the policies of his NYPD. Also: The media has been asking those questions not because those policies are worthy of examination, but as a means of besmirching Kelly, at the behest of candidates like Christine Quinn, because Democrats are scared of him. 

The Kelly topic came up again last night on NY1 , where the current Republican chairman was asked about the possibility that the police commissioner, or supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis, might run for mayor in 2013. 

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"There’s been talk about trying to draft Ray Kelly to run for mayor," said host Errol Louis. "He keeps saying he’s really not interested. There’s been talk about John Catsimatidis, the supermarket magnate. Is there a Republican candidate? Is there a process to find a candidate to run?"

"There’s a lot of people out there who are looking for a candidate," said Cox. "We’re in touch with them, and of course Ray Kelly would be a superb candidate. What we need is a candidate who is looking after the interests of the people of New York City, not after the special interests. Unfortunately, the candidates on the Democratic side are all vying to get the support of special interests and that’s why since 1993, the mayor of New York has been elected on the Republican line. And, you know, commissioner Kelly, he’s been commissioner under two administrations, he loves this city, he cares about it deeply, he knows the city backwards and forwards, he’s been a terrific commissioner, he’d made a terrific mayor."

Cox went on to describe the Kelly recruitment effort as a bipartisan affair.

"Well, It’s not just me. Ed Koch who has come out and said, ‘He is my choice. I may have endorsed Christine Quinn but my choice for the next mayor would be Ray Kelly,’ said Cox. "This is very much a bipartisan effort. looking for the very best mayor who would look after the interests of the people of New York City."

Here's the video.