NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Candidates have been lining up in recent weeks to take the place of Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he leaves office at the end of the year, with city Comptroller John Liu being the latest to announce his candidacy on Sunday.
But another man made the news for his ambitions someday to run for New York City mayor – even though he doesn’t actually live in the city right now. And he’s not a household name, even though you likely use his invention every day.
Speaking to CBS News’ Lara Logan in a segment broadcast Sunday on “60 Minutes,” Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said he wants to run for New York City mayor someday.
Dorsey’s mayoral ambitions were not the primary subject of the interview. The segment focused primarily on the development and overwhelming success of Twitter, as well his tenure with the company – which included being forced out by the company board and later invited back in.
The segment also focused on the development of Dorsey’s newest innovation – Square – a small business platform to accept debit and credit card payments through smartphones or tablets.
But toward the end of the interview, Dorsey, who lives in San Francisco, talked about his ambition to move from the apex of the tech business into politics. He said he wants to move to New York City and run for mayor – despite a reserved nature and communication style that led Logan to say “it may seem like an unrealistic ambition.”
Standing with Logan on the mezzanine level of the 42nd Street-Times Square subway station, Dorsey talked about his attraction to New York.
“What I love about New York is just the electricity feel right away,” he said. “I mean, just look at us in this station. There’s just people walking everywhere. It’s chaos. It’s kind of like being in car in the middle of a thunderstorm. Everything is raging around you but you’re safe inside that car, so New York feels very much to me like that.”
Logan said Dorsey says he is serious about his ambitions, and that he “knows it helps to be a billionaire,” as both Dorsey and Mayor Bloomberg are, to run for New York City mayor. But the question, Logan said, would be how Dorsey would communicate with voters.
Dorsey conceded that he is not an expert in face-to-face conversation.
“I guess my natural state would be through mediation of letters or though text – all those mediums I definitely find ease with – but do I appreciate it as much as face-to-face communication? No. Do I feel like I’m an expert in having a normal conversation face to face? Absolutely not. That’s just not my natural state,” he said. “I would rather be walking in Land’s End and thinking about things, and tweeting.”
Dorsey did not address his own political views, nor did he talk about any current local issues or policies that he would focus on in a mayoral campaign or in office.
He did not specify a timetable for running either.
This is not the first time Dorsey has talked about running for New York City mayor. He also discussed it in a Vanity Fair interview two years ago, in which writer David Kirkpatrick said his interest in local government in New York goes “surprisingly deep” to the point where “his ultimate aspiration is to become mayor of New York.”
The Vanity Fair article said Dorsey had spoken to Bloomberg about the idea, and that Bloomberg had advised him “no surprise – to make a lot of money first.”
But much as in the “60 Minutes” interview, Dorsey was not quoted in the Vanity Fair article about any local issues or his views on them. He provided another sensory description of the city, talking about the taxis turning at the end of Fifth Avenue at Washington Square Park as an example of the “constant rush of energy.”
In the mayoral election coming in November, Comptroller Liu is one of several candidates who have lined up.
Last Sunday City Council Speaker Christine Quinn formally announced her candidacy for mayor in a video posted to her Twitter account, followed by the start of a walking tour of all five boroughs.
Other Democratic candidates for mayor include New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, former City Councilman Sal Albanese; and former Comptroller Bill Thompson.
Republican contenders include former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota; Tom Allon, a publisher; billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis; and George McDonald, the head of a nonprofit that helps the homeless.
Former Bronx borough president and federal housing official Adolfo Carrion, a former Democrat who is now unaffiliated, is running on the Independence Party line and seeking Republican backing.
Would you vote for Jack Dorsey if he ran for mayor? Leave your comments below…