Apparently the mayor is still basking in the warm glow of the overwhelmingly positive reception he got for his handling of Irene: This weekend, a woman named Rachel Figueroa-Levin was so amused at the mayor’s persistent yet poorly accented use of Spanish at press conferences that she started a Twitter feed poking fun at Bloomberg, @ElBloombito. Sample tweet: ” Cuidado! Stayo away para los downed linos de power. Que Electrocuto! El BUZZZ!” Several days later, it has more than 11,000 followers.
Bloomberg has actually been speaking Spanish at his press conferences since 2009; it began as an effort to woo the city’s growing bloc of Latino voters during the last mayoral election. According to the Associated Press’s clear-eyed assessment, he’s very similar to that extroverted kid who sat in the back of your ninth grade Spanish class.
He now concludes every news conference by summing up the main points and taking some questions in Spanish, and at two recent events — a snowstorm briefing and women’s luncheon — he answered reporters’ questions in Spanish without any help.
The responses were sometimes filled with awkward phrases like “the streets have cleaned” and “it was a lot of windy,” but he’s willing to try.
But to his credit, pato cojo Bloomberg wasn’t all that offended when a reporter brought up the Spanglish parody. In fact, his official Twitter account even played along, with the line “Me escuchas, @ElBloombito?” directing followers to the video of his response, en español, to the mockery. Apparently Miguel Bloomberg is more affable than his alter ego Mike.