Real Estate and media mogul Mort Zuckerman raised eyebrows all over yesterday with the claim on Fox that he "helped write one of [Obama's] speeches," and his subsequent refusal to go into it right now.
Among those with reason to be puzzled, a White House source tells me, were Obama's speechwriters, Jon Favreau and Ben Rhodes. Neither "has ever met or spoken to Mort Zuckerman" and the two have "been closely involved in every speech the President has given since 2005," said the official.
Zuckerman has met President Obama a few times and no doubt encountered other Administration officials, and he could well have suggested a theme to the president or another aide. But the question of what he "helped write" remains a bit of a mystery.
Zuckerman owns the local New York Daily News, which I read every day and to be fair has a somewhat balanced editorial position. Yet, the NYDN has featured sports columnist Mike Lupica's decidedly leftist, blame-Bush-for-everything-wrong-with-the-planet rants for a few years now (it's gotten to the point that as much I respect Lupica as a sportswriter, I don't read anything he writes on politics anymore) and does compete with the more conservative New York Post for readership. Still a shock that Zuckerman would admit to helping Barry write a speech or two, there's going to be some repercussions from this, you can bet on that.