From NBC's Ben Weltman
Today, at the National Press Club, Doug Bailey, former GOP consultant and Hotline founder, and Gerald Rafshoon, former White House Communications Director in the Carter Administration, announced they are officially "encouraging" New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for president.
"If he runs, he will be elected as the President of the United States," Bailey said. "He is going to be elected."
Bailey and Rafshoon both mentioned more than a few times the creation of their new website: DraftMichaelBloomberg.com. On the Web site, readers can petition to "persuade" Mayor Bloomberg to run for president. About two hours after the news conference, they had gotten 115 signatures online.
Even though Bailey has never talked to Mayor Bloomberg before, Rafshoon said he knows the mayor well and he has been in contact with him and his staff, in particular Kevin Sheekey. "It's fair to say he smiled," he said.
Asked about "Unity 08", an organization that they both recently left due to FEC disputes, Bailey made sure to say the organizations were "two very distinct entities."
Listing terrorism, recession, entitlement crunch, failing schools, failing parents, an inadequate healthcare system and immigration as the current problems facing the United States, both said Bloomberg is the candidate who will change the way Washington works. "He is not ideological," Rafshoon said. "He would run a campaign based on solving problems."