Movement to draft Bloomberg launched

Two founders of the bipartisan Unity08 effort launched a new campaign to draft independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg into the presidential race Tuesday, saying he is the right candidate to overcome bitter partisanship and oncoming economic problems.

ADVERTISEMENT
Former Republican consultant Doug Bailey and Gerald Rafshoon, a former communications director to President Carter, argued that Bloomberg is the answer to a “severe economic recession” that is threatening the country.

They said Bloomberg would be a non-ideological candidate, in large part because the billionaire business mogul can self-finance his entire campaign.

“At a time when the Washington political system is broken, wouldn’t it be refreshing to have a president elected who owes nothing to special interests, nothing to extreme elements of either group of partisans?” Bailey said.

Bailey noted that he has never met Bloomberg, while Rafshoon knows the mayor only “socially.” Rafshoon said Bloomberg has not indicated to him that he plans to run.

The draft is aimed at convincing the mayor to run, as opposed to raising funds. It launched a website at www.draftmichaelbloomberg.com, where supporters can sign a petition to urge Bloomberg to jump into the presidential race.

The effort is completely separate from Unity08, which has been suspended due to financial problems. Bailey and Rafshoon are no longer affiliated with that effort and have filed the drafting movement with the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission.

Bloomberg has consistently said he’s not a candidate for president, but his coy public responses to reporters’ inquiries belie a lot of reported behind-the-scenes preparation and evaluation.