Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg would very much like you to know that he speaks Spanish and that he is very relatable to the Hispanic people of Texas — or “Tejas,” as Bloomberg put it to a reporter Tuesday.
The exchange was, to put it as El Bloombito might, muy awkwardo.
Reporter: You've spent a lot of time in Texas?
El Bloombito: Tejas, we'd say here
Reporter: What'd you say?
Bloombito: That's Spanish for 'Texas'
Reporter: Okay pic.twitter.com/AikiK16k94
— Dan Nguyen (@dancow) March 3, 2020
Thus continues Bloomberg’s long and infamous tradition of abject demographic pandering to Spanish-speakers — pandering so discomfiting and unintentionally comical it birthed the El Bloombito meme and a hilarious parody account on Twitter.
At the risk of overanalyzing Bloombito’s “Tejas” comment, it should be noted that Mexicans do indeed pronounce Texas as “Tejas,” but most Mexican Texans just say “Texas.”
Why Bloomberg felt the need to pander this hard while on camera in an otherwise casual moment, no one can say. Maybe it’s because he really is the Mr. Burns-like cartoon character he appears to be, as out of touch with normal people and ordinary life as one could possible be.
How else to explain his long and rich tradition of embarrassing attempts to speak Spanish, even in official settings such as news conference when he was mayor of New York:
Notice how everyone behind him maintains their composure, as if this is normal behavior.
If Bloomberg manages to attract enough votes in primaries on Super Tuesday, when he’ll be appearing on the ballot for the first time, we might get more El Bloombito gems like we got today in “Tejas.” Let’s esperemos!