POLITICS

Al Sharpton: Kirsten Gillibrand Must Have 'Mystical Powers'

Luck or magic? The Rev. Al Sharpton recently said that New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) must have one or the other on her side as a handful of potential primary and general elections challengers have dropped like flies.

"I think Gillibrand either has mystical powers or the best luck I have ever seen in politics," Rev. Al Sharpton told the New York Times's Ray Hernandez. "It is amazing."

The lack of any real action against Gillibrand has particularly frustrated Republicans, who view her as a political novice who was appointed by embattled Gov. David Paterson.

But the GOP has so far been unable to find a formidable challenger. Several potential Republican candidates -- including Gov. George E. Pataki, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, billionaire publisher of The Daily News, and former Bush adviser Dan Senor -- have not thrown their hat into the ring. (Several other lesser-known Republicans have launched campaigns).

Democrat Harold Ford, who was seriously considering mounting a primary challenge to Gillibrand, eventually decided against it.

Nevertheless, Gillibrand's own campaign team appears aware of the political realities facing the senator: "She is weak, but she is no pushover," one of her advisers told The Times. "So there's a lot to lose in running against her. Nobody is willing to take the risk."