For those of you who are struggling to keep track of the current campaign status of the plethora of people running for President of the United States in 2020 (you are not alone), one of the candidates still in the running is billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City.
Bloomberg is estimated to be worth $50 billion, a piece of information that makes many people understandably wary of the motivations behind his desire to become president. Along with, of course, his decade-late apology for the “stop-and-frisk” crime prevention policy which wreaked havoc on the lives of Black and Latinx New Yorkers during Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor of the city. But in the three months since he’s entered the Democratic primary race, Bloomberg has risen to fifth in the polls.
An article from The New York Times provided a glimpse into what life looks like on the Bloomberg 2020 campaign trail—and wow, is it a wild ride. Specifically because of the assortment of quotes from Bloomberg, several of which are so surreal I couldn’t possibly have made them up myself.
The first and most notable quote in the piece comes just a mere two or three paragraphs into the piece. Let’s set the stage. The time: 2 p.m. on a Wednesday. The place: a soybean farm in rural southern Minnesota.
During this campaign stop, Bloomberg spoke to a small group of locals and reporters about agriculture.
“You’re the backbone of America,” [Bloomberg] told his hosts, who wore microphones for the occasion.
Okay, backbone of America, that’s expected. He goes on to say something a little more.... odd.
“I eat what you grow,” Mr. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, observed at one point. They thanked him for his business.
Maybe it’s just that this election cycle has already rotted my brain, a full eleven months before it’s time to head to the polling places, but “I eat what you grow” feels like a statement that would only be made by an alien attempting to establish a connection with real humans.
Or maybe just made by someone very, very, very rich. Bloomberg hammers that point home for me himself:
“It’s easy for us living in big cities to forget about the rest of the world,” he remarked before he left. “You don’t see it every day.”
Costal elites, amirite?
One last gem from this piece, because who doesn’t love some good “presidential candidates holding babies” content:
[Bloomberg] autographed baseballs for eager attendees, declining only to sign what appeared to be a doctored image of him smoking marijuana in a Knicks uniform. He was handed a baby: “I just rented a baby,” he reported, holding the child from its midsection with both hands and spinning a little.
Again, what a weird comment to make! Is he talking about the baby he is currently holding? If so, I would recommend the parent(s) take that baby back unless they have specified the length of the rental period. If not, is Bloomberg talking about some other baby that he has back at home? Once again, this feels like “alien masquerading as a human” type humor, and I am not a fan.
But beyond his comments about renting babies and eating what we grow, the most unsettling part about Mike Bloomberg is the fact that he is a man who already has massive amounts of wealth and influence, and yet is continuing to seek out more power by running for the highest office in the country. As Jezebel has asked before: what if instead of running for President, he just gave his money away?
(Also, if you’re the person who created the doctored image of Bloomberg smoking marijuana in a Knicks uniform, my Twitter DMs are open.)