Donald Trump Considering NY Gubernatorial Bid?

Donald TrumpTake this with about a pound of salt, but some Republican operatives in New York are actively hyping the possibility of Donald Trump running for governor in 2006:

Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno on Thursday suggested that a big-name candidate could be flirting with entering the 2006 contest. On Friday, he confirmed to News Channel 10 in Albany that he had been referring to Trump.
Bruno told the station he had spoken to the real estate developer and TV personality about a possible run.
Trump’s office in New York had no immediate comment. State GOP Executive Director Ryan Moses said neither he nor state party Chairman Stephen Minarik have had discussions with Trump about running.
Said Frank MacKay, state chairman of the Independence Party: “(Trump) is a formidable candidate for anything he decides to run for. We would love to see him run for president of the United States in 2008 as a third-party candidate. I’d do what I could to help give him a strong base here in New York and everywhere else in the country.”

I highly doubt Trump would run as a Republican though, as he’s savvy enough to realize the GOP ties could be more of an albotross around his neck than the network of money and influence is worth thanks to the spate of scandals and corruption this past year. While we’ve made some offhand musing about Trump running for president in 2008 here at Hammer of Truth, a gubernatorial bid is definitely a more likely scenario (or perhaps a lead-in for 2008 electibility).
Unfortunately, I really couldn’t see him being easily courted by the New York Libertarian Party either, as many of his positions are skewed populist and moderate (though it could be argued that his philosophy is more of a pragmatic paleolibertarian). Regardless, if Trump enters the race, it will be interesting to see just how libertarian his ideology is once it’s front and center and on display.
Update: Politics1 casts doubt on the whole thing:

NEW YORK. State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R) demonstrated the desperation of New York Republicans in recruiting a viable candidate for Governor when he suggested Donald Trump is thinking about entering the race. Here’s why this implies desperation in the efforts to derail Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s (D) frontrunning campaign for Governor. First: Even if the story is true (and that is rather unlikely), Trump apparently loves to float his name every few years for political office. He openly discussed seeking the GOP Presidential nomination in 1988 and toyed with seeing the Reform Party’s Presidential nomination in 2000 (he even filed FEC paperwork in 1999). But, after he gets some publicity for the possible candidacy, he quietly backs out of the contest. Second: Trump is apparently supporting Spitzer for Governor. He already made a personal donation of $10,000 to the “Spitzer 2006” committee. And, FYI, he previously contributed $11,000 to Spitzer’s 2002 re-election race. Trump also gave a much smaller amount of money to one of the current GOP candidates: $1,000 to former Secretary of State Randy Daniels. Trump’s office declined to comment on Bruno’s claim. State GOP Chair Stephen Minarik said he’s heard nothing about Trump being interested in the race.

Another Update: Trump ruled out a governor bid according to the NY Post, but a political figure close to Trump said: “Donald is definitely interested in running for president in 2008, possibly as an independent candidate.”
Yawn. Let us know when Trump stops being a media whore… that would be news.