Senor did not respond to a request for comment. In 2003, he was the spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, earning a reputation as an aggressive advocate for the American occupation. He now is a partner at a New York investment firm, and appears frequently on Fox News as a neo-conservative foreign policy commentator.
The source told TPMmuckraker that last night he got a call from a polling firm, asking for his views on several New York public figures, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Harold Ford, Rudy Giuliani, and Mort Zuckerman -- as well as Senor and Brown.
All of those figures have been mentioned as potential candidates in the race this year for the Senate seat currently held by Gillibrand -- with the exceptions of Schumer (already a sitting senator), Senor, and Brown.
The source said the caller then asked a series of questions that each seemed to refer to one of the figures on that list.
For instance (based on the source's paraphrase): If you knew that the candidate had worked in the media industry, and had given money to Democrats -- an apparent reference to Zuckerman, the owner of the New York Daily News -- would that change your opinion about them?
And (again, the source was paraphrasing): If you knew the candidate had served as an elected official from another state -- Ford was a congressman from Tennessee -- would that change your opinion of them?
And then (another paraphrase): If you knew that the candidate had served the country in Iraq, would that change your opinion of them?
The source said the poll then seemed to veer into push-poll territory, asking whether it would affect the voter's view of Gillibrand if he knew that she had opposed gun control and abortion rights.
The source, himself an astute political observer, said he had the impression that the prime purpose of the call was to help gauge whether Zuckerman -- who is said to be considering a Senate run as a Republican or an independent -- could be tied to Democrats effectively enough to create an opening on the right for a more conservative candidate.
Senor recently co-wrote a book with his brother-in-law, Saul Singer, entitled Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. But he also has kept a hand in American politics. He's on the board of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a neo-conservative project founded by Bill Kristol, and he recently appeared on a conference call for reporters organized by the RNC, about President Obama's Afghanistan policy.
The New York Post is hearing similar things.