If it’s Tuesday night at seven, then it’s time for a weekly organizational meeting of the New York City Chapter of the Committee to Draft Michael Bloomberg. And last night, Karin Gallet, the New York chapter’s mastermind and newsletter writer, sipped an Amstel Light as she ran the group’s fourth meeting at the Old Town Bar. A grand total of nine people joined her, and she set a stark goal: to collect 15,000 signatures on a “Draft Mike” petition by Christmas. (Only 1,500 per person!) Cue the jaunty, let’s-get-to-work montage.
Gallet sees Bloomberg as someone “socially liberal, economically responsible, who really transcends the two-party system,” and she sees herself as a typical Bloomberg voter. Others attendees, who’d traveled from the right and left sides of the political spectrum, and from the right and left sides of town, agreed. Dr. Simpson Gray was talking about his forthcoming book on — what else? — why Bloomberg should be president. “I work at the Department of Education, and I’ve seen the changes, especially regarding the treatment of minorities,” Gray said. “It was Bloomberg who changed it.” (“He holds himself and everyone who works for him accountable,” Gallet gushed.)
The elephant in the room — the donkey in the room? — was the small issue that Bloomberg might well refuse to be drafted. Gallet suggested the group act as if they won’t know for sure until February. At that point, the theory goes, the electorate will look at the two major parties’ nominees and decide they need a third choice, even if it is yet another New Yorker. Maybe Bloomberg won’t run, or maybe he’ll start running next week, effectively killing a committee whose very success would render it useless. For now, though, there are petition drives, cold beer, and good conversation. Plus spiffy buttons, which Gallet was distributing. “They’re gonna be a hot commodity one day,” she said. To which came the inevitable, wishful response: “Especially if he runs.” —Marc Tracy