Michael Bloomberg's campaign posted 40 wacky tweets during the Democratic debate in a bid to attract media attention by aping Donald Trump.
Michael Bloomberg is rapidly morphing from respected New York City mayor to Donald Trump wannabe.
He was already a billionaire self-funding a White House run after swapping political parties. But the similarities are growing by the day, as revealed by the Bloomberg campaign’s strange behavior during last night’s Democratic debate.
Trump regularly uses social media to hijack the national conversation, and it seems that Bloomberg is beginning to copy his apparent role model’s media strategy.
Last night, as his “colleagues” were in Iowa debating foreign policy and trade, his campaign was serving up awkward social media fodder like this:
And unnecessary information like this:
And dubious historical “facts” like this:
Ranging from claims that he once “passed out free jars of Vicks VapoRub to people on the subway” to boasts that he “spent over $200 million dollars on scratch-off lottery tickets” last year, there’s no doubt that the tweets from the Michael Bloomberg campaign were a little unconventional for a would-be Democratic candidate.
Just as bizarre as the content was their sheer number. Bloomberg’s campaign produced over 40 “zany” posts during the debate.
Given the impressive volume of nonsense, observers believed that Bloomberg’s campaign account had been hacked. The Bloomberg team gleefully informed the Washington Post that they had posted the tweets themselves.
Thanks for checking in. We’re not compromised. Tonight, the Bloomberg 2020 social team is trying something fun tonight.
The Bloomberg social team wasn’t simply trying something “fun.” No, it was experimenting with the unconventional media strategy that worked so well for Donald Trump.
Trump’s tweets have enabled the president to manipulate the press coverage of his administration. Whenever he wants to shift the narrative away from his policies, all he must do is fire off a “wild” stock market tweet or a typo-ridden gaffe.
As a result, Trump’s administration – what it’s really doing to the country – has avoided a certain degree of scrutiny. Maybe enough to win Trump a second term.
And what’s good for one billionaire “politician” is obviously good for another. Bloomberg surely knows that, as a billionaire with ties to Wall Street, he can’t really put forward the kind of reformative platform championed by the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
He’s scheming to compensate for his political shortfalls by aping Trump’s media strategy. And it’s working.
Last night’s tweetstorm attracted headlines from Fox News, the New York Post, CBS, and the LA Times. By rewarding his oddball tweets, these outlets increased the chances of such behavior being repeated.
As cynical as it sounds, it could be a winning strategy. Playing the fool worked for Trump, and it worked for Boris Johnson too.
The U.K. Prime Minister began his career as an eccentric oaf. Playing up to his “lovable” public persona has served him politically on more than one occasion. Just look at his infamous “bus interview” from June.
Michael Bloomberg hopes to capitalize on this trend. When you’re rich beyond the average American’s wildest dreams, doing “strange” things is one strategy to make yourself look more relatable.
So don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last story you read about Bloomberg’s tweets.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:38 PM UTC