The highest-profile element of the Mayor’s reelection strategy — the subject of the only press release the campaign has sent out, in fact — is the “all-out effort to field [an] army of volunteers twice the size of any ever in NYC.”
Bloomberg’s 50,000 volunteers — and we’re assuming that these are real volunteers, not “volunteers” in the same sense that Mike’s charity is “anonymous” — would give him a great comeback to the inevitable attacks on his wealth. His aides have no doubt learned a lot about organizing from the Presidential campaigns. And we don’t doubt that there are a lot of people in the city who’d like to be involved, and who like Mike.
One interesting side note, however, is how the Republican National Convention turns out to have been a useful prologue to the campaign. Kevin Sheekey, obviously, is running both operations. But we’ve also noticed that the head of volunteers for the Convention, Mike Tracey, has moved into the same position on the Bloomberg campaign.
Tracey, according to this story from his NYU student newspaper, was an intern at the Host Committee before going on staff there. He also appears to be an actual Republican, which may make him the only one on the campaign so far.
Sheekey told us Tracey wouldn’t be able to talk before tonight, mostly because he’s too busy organizing the event. He also told us that they’re not using Convention volunteer lists for the campaign.
But they will be able to capitalize on some of the Convention’s volunteer infrastructure.
We’re told that groups — young Republican clubs, things like that — were asked last summer to send the Host Committee spreadsheets of volunteers, ranked A, B, and C according to reliability and dedication. The Convention put the spreadsheets together. But there’s nothing stopping Tracey from going back to the same groups, and even asking them to hit “send” again on the spreadsheets. So far, we’ve seen a mass email from the Metropolitan Republican Club directing its volunteers to contact Tracey directly.
So maybe that whole Convention thing was just practice for the main event. (Just joking, Kevin.)
Anyway, the volunteer fun begins tonight at 5:30 PM at B.B. King’s in Times Square.