Big Man on Campus

Mike presented another vision speech this afternoon, this time at Columbia University, where, standing between stacks of books and a desk topped with mugs full of yellow pencils, he talked about expanding high school opportunities. Plans include increasing the number of small schools and academically selective schools, one of which is being developed with Columbia.

On hand to hear the speech were Columbia’s broad-shouldered President, Lee C. Bollinger, campaign aides Patty Harris and education expert Ester Fuchs, and Peter Law.

Mr. Law, 19, is the executive director of the Columbia University College Republicans, a group of 600 that helped organize the event, which Mr. Bloomberg, with the slightest hint of a smile, recognized in his opening remarks.

The extremely earnest Mr. Law said that he had heard that his shaggy-haired counterparts, the College Democrats, had tried to shut down a burgeoning Democrats for Bloomberg chapter, and confided, with visible excitement, that another guest speaker was in the works for November.

“John Ashcroft,” he said. “We’re going to need a lot more security.”