Malcolm Smith’s Not-Quite Endorsement of Bill Thompson

In this day of stealth campaigns and non-stop politicking, it’s easy to see endorsements in just about anything.

Case in point: At a fund-raiser for Lieutenant Governor David Paterson on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith had some very kind words for City Comptroller Bill Thompson, whose interest in running for mayor is well-known.

Smith had jokingly offered to endorse Thompson for mayor that night, according to a source, who said of Smith‘s remark‘s, “It definitely sounded like a resounding endorsement to me.”

I ran into Malcolm Smith last night outside a fund-raiser for the state Senate Democratic Campaign Committee and asked him about it.

"Somebody yelled it out," Smith told me. "They were trying to drag it out of me."

To be clear, Smith said he made no endorsement in that race, but seemed amused at being asked.

Read into that what you will.