Since Alec Baldwin suggested, way back in January, that he would like to run for public office, people have been trying to read the tea leaves about a possible mayoral run in New York City. Those symbols seemed to get a whole lot clearer when a New York Times story on Monday suggested that the actor would prepare a mayoral bid after his contract with 30 Rock ends next April. But while the story focused heavily on the possibility of a Baldwin run, it included little concrete evidence that he would join the race. Writer Sarah Maslin Nir reported that Baldwin "said that he would probably sit out in 2013 but run in a later election." But Baldwin himself on Wednesday seemed to challenge the conclusion that he was preparing a run. "Ah, there's nothing like a young reporter yearning for truth," he wrote in a tweet directed at Nir and linking to the story.
But if there's no hard evidence of Baldwin's mayoral inclinations, there's plenty of circumstantial evidence, both in the Times story and elsewhere. Baldwin told Nir he was talking with two universities about enrolling in a master's program after his 30 Rock stint "to help me better understand what the fiscal imperatives of that job are." He name-checked some New York institutions he wanted to understand better. "What’s the reality of the city unions, of contracts, agreements, teachers, infrastructure, decentralizing, everything? And utilities, Con Ed, the M.T.A. — how does it all work?" Then of course there was The Daily's report in June that a friend of Baldwin's had suggested the actor was thinking about running after Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal set his political career back. "Hey, maybe this changes the race. The dynamics have shifted," Baldwin reportedly told his friend. Not a confirmation, certainly, but another suggestion.