Bloom is an investment banker, best known for advising labor unions during complex and fraught negotiations. He won acclaim for his role helping the Obama administration rescue the auto industry in 2009. Trump appointed him to the board of governors in 2019 with support from Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and the National Association of Letter Carriers, the largest and most politically influential of the four major postal unions. Bloom had advised the Letter Carriers during President Barack Obama’s second term, when the union feared that the struggling Postal Service would need the same bailout as Detroit had years earlier.
Bloom’s support for DeJoy has made him almost as divisive a figure among Democrats as the postmaster general. “Whether he’s a Democrat or a Whig, I don’t care. He’s complicit,” Representative Connolly told me. He criticized Bloom for keeping silent during the uproar over DeJoy’s management ahead of the election. The congressman organized 50 House Democrats, including several powerful committee chairs, to write a letter calling on Biden to remove and replace the entire board of governors, including Bloom and another Democrat, Lee Moak.
The Letter Carriers quickly rose to Bloom and Moak’s defense, writing a lengthy response to Connolly and his co-signers to tell them the union “strongly opposed” the removal of either Democrat from the board. Bloom also has allies in Congress, who say he played an integral role behind the scenes helping to ensure that the election went smoothly and later to deliver wins for labor in the strategic plan. “I couldn’t think of a better person for the job,” said Representative Stevens, who worked closely with Bloom in the Obama administration and hailed him as a restructuring expert. “He’s not interested in personalities. He’s interested in results,” said Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, the Democratic chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which oversees the Postal Service.
Bloom’s term expires in December. He told me he hopes Biden will renominate him, but he declined to discuss whether he had spoken with the president about his status. “I think, immodestly, I’m making a bit of a difference,” he said. As to the Democrats who are calling for his immediate removal, Bloom seemed unconcerned. “They have every right to their opinion,” he told me. “Maybe they’ll persuade the president to do it.” (The White House declined to comment.)
Although he described himself as a “partisan Democrat,” Bloom sharply criticized members of his party who have accused DeJoy of making changes to the mail in a deliberate attempt to sabotage the election. “Skepticism is proper, but people said we stole these collection boxes from poor neighborhoods,” he said. “It’s absolute BS.” The Postal Service’s handling of a record volume of election mail—ballots took an average of 1.6 days to get to election offices, and more than 99 percent were delivered within a week, the agency said—is a point of pride for Bloom, who served on a preelection task force. “It was awesome and amazing,” he told me, at one point comparing the Postal Service’s performance to the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Yet when other Democrats were making these charges last summer and into the fall, Bloom was silent. “I chose not to play that role,” he said. “Maybe I should have spoken up.”