By any measure, it was a rough weekend on Twitter for 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City.
It’s probably hard to pick the low point. (The one about Texans saying “scared as a cat at the dog pound” might be a good place to start.)
Mike Bloomberg: "Now if I were from Texas, I might say Donald Trump is scared as a cat at the dog pound. But since I'm from New York, I put it this way. We're scaring the living hell out of him, and we're just starting right now." pic.twitter.com/Sap3Ma0uid
— The Hill (@thehill) February 15, 2020
But certainly one viral-going video will be among the most memorable of the Mike 101 moments emerging from the archeological deep dig.
In the video, Bloomberg appears to be seen attired in an old-fashioned “track suit,” holding a football and being passed overhead by his castmates in a somersault. Following this acrobatic turn, the video cuts to a duet with Nick Jonas, who sings effervescently about a “Brotherhood of Mike!”
Eyes across America were squinting, and brows were furrowed in disbelief.
OMG it gets worse
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) February 16, 2020
I confess, I wondered if this might be a deep fake. At certain points, Bloomberg’s head seems to wobble just a shade too much for reality. And he doesn’t look much younger than he is now, if any. Was a 70-odd-year-old man really going aloft (the hands-up-for-hoisting moment is priceless) to be turned head over heels, however carefully, by a bunch of jokers in red jerseys and fake antique football helmets?
It’s not a deep fake. It really happened in 2012. So Bloomberg was eight years younger, if still no spring chicken.
Then-Mayor Bloomberg was performing with cast members from “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” which was running on Broadway. It was a skit for charity; the Inner Circle “hook” for this annual theatrical-performance endeavor is that it’s a political roast.
The Inner Circle organization explains:
Following their own showstopping performances, the Inner Circle cleared the stage for Hizzoner to return the jokes and barbs with help from stars Nick Jonas, Beau Bridges and other cast members of “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.”
Mayor Mike, of course, retitled his show “How to Succeed By Bloomberg” in which he mentors a young man working on the restoration project at City Hall to have bigger goals in life and offers him tips to reach them.
(At the link, Beau Bridges is wearing the red letter-sweater in the image up the page a bit from airborne Mike.)
The Inner Circle’s 2012 theme of “Preoccupied” appears to relate to the “Occupy” movement that was creating such a buzz in the 15-18 or so months prior to the 31 March 2012 performance by Mayor Bloomberg. The proceeds from the annual show go to charity.
So there you have it. Good times, good works.
If we look hard enough, there may be a redeeming (or at least kind of plausible sounding) explanation for a number of the Bloomberg bloopers that zoomed across the infosphere in the last 48 hours.
One was his video-snared comment that farming requires less “grey matter” than the information economy. Well, farming and using a lathe. Probably some other things too.
Bloomberg on why farmers can’t work in information technology
MB: “I can teach anyone how to be a farmer 1 dig a hole 2 put a seed in 3 put dirt on top 4 add water 5 up comes the corn”
— Pete (@PeterMentes) February 15, 2020
Plenty of indignant tweeps mounted a heroic ratio for this rascally riff. But Eugene Kontorovich stepped in to offer some perspective.
He is talking about a 300 yrs ago, even 1000 yrs ago. He said as much. https://t.co/lcGRe5Dpcl
— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) February 17, 2020
I think I’d point out that farming wasn’t actually a simple, rote-activities line of work 300 or 1,000 years ago either. But we could spend all day on that one.
This next one, from 2011, has to be a bit tougher to talk down.
This video of Bloomberg saying we should deny care to people once they're past a certain age (because it isn't worth it) is everything about him which is so awful.pic.twitter.com/iL1FGf3Ha0
— The Meturgeman (@HaMeturgeman) February 16, 2020
In it, Bloomberg suggests that if a 95-year-old comes in with prostate cancer, “we” should say, among other things, “Go and enjoy; have a nice day … No cure, and we can’t do anything.”
The kicker, in this case, is that the men he was speaking to were sitting Shiva for their brother who had just died, and this wasn’t a campaign stop; it was a condolence call. (One of the brothers was Nachum Segal, a well-known local radio host.)
Yeshiva World reported:
Mayor Bloomberg first offered his condolences, and then discussed some very interesting topics, such as overcrowding in emergency rooms, Obamacare, immigration, smoking, eating salt, NYC traffic, and some other interesting items.
Put me in the “Strongly Disagree” column for denying people medical care based solely on age.
Other revelations have been swarming in. LU’s Ben Bowles noted one that didn’t arrive in a video clip, but does seem to match the attitude toward, er, human life and health care from the Shiva condolence video. Bloomberg is alleged to have tersely advised a pregnant employee to “Kill it!”
The Daily Beast has a compendium, for those with no interest in hanging onto precious brain cells.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg has made other forays into musical comedy.
Mike Bloomberg as the Little Mermaid pic.twitter.com/zyvtGQ4QLn
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 17, 2020
Go and enjoy; have a nice day.