LOS ANGELES — A Twitter group that sought to draft former Vice President Joe Biden to run for president in 2016 has started a campaign to support Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to run for president in 2020, and, as of Aug. 14, has more than 5,600 followers.
The campaign — #DraftGarcetti — involves no fundraising and has only “an audience of one” meant to convince Garcetti he has popular support, said Mike Weber, an organizer of the group who lives in New Mexico.
The Twitter page supporting Biden — and later former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — reached 12,000 followers at one point, Weber said, and was converted in July to Draft Eric Garcetti @DraftGarcetti. The movement’s main page has around 5,600 followers, but Weber said more than 1,000 new followers have signed on since it became a support page for Garcetti.
The group has also started Twitter pages in all 50 states and some large cities, such as Delaware for Garcetti, which has just over 250 followers, and Arizona 4 Garcetti, with over 500 followers.
Weber told City News Service he is one of 11 leaders of the group, which looked at more than 40 politicians before selecting Garcetti with a unanimous vote.
Weber listed some of Garcetti’s personal details, like being a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserves and fostering seven children, as being appealing, but that his biggest attribute is “his economic leadership of Los Angeles, with 150,000 new businesses in four years, and moving the minimum wage up to one of the highest in the country. So he’s pro-worker, and has shown major leadership on infrastructure, and on bringing the Olympics back to the American stage after Boston failed to do so — that shows leadership as well.”
Biden has not yet ruled out a run in 2020, but although the Twitter group previously supported the former vice president, Weber said, “We don’t think the next president should turn 80 while in office, and the majority of Democrats say they want somebody new.”
Garcetti has not ruled out a run for president, but has not declared himself a candidate either while remaining coy about his political future. He was sworn in for a second and final term as mayor on July 1, and although he has been rumored to have been considering a run for governor in 2018, the window to jump into the race is considered by many political experts to be closing soon.
When asked by Politico in May if he was running for president, Garcetti said, “I’m not focused on running for president” before listing various reasons why being mayor of Los Angeles could qualify someone to be president, including that its population is larger than many states.
“Does a governor of a state of 3 million have more experience than a mayor of a city of 4 million?” Garcetti asked.