Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg really wants you to know that his relationship with dogs is normal and fine. The billionaire and former NYC mayor on Wednesday released a video of dogs with dubbed-over voices “endorsing” him for president.
Strange? Sure. But such is politics in 2020.
To understand how we got here, you’ve got to understand a different video that had viral moment on Tuesday. Bloomberg was taped meeting a pup on the campaign trail in Vermont this week and well — there’s no other way to say this — he greeted the dog by shaking its snout. Frankly, the video was baffling and folks online, predictably, were beside themselves.
So, after a troubling-dog-thing Tuesday, Bloomberg’s campaign followed it up with a weird-dog-thing Wednesday. Thus the endorsement video featuring pups talking — via voiceover — about the billionaire’s ability to create jobs, refrain from tweeting, and fight the NRA, among other things.
At one point, a dog apparently named Fez utters the unsettling phrase: “I like Mike. I lick Mike.”
Notably absent from the ad: the actual candidate. And, not for nothing, it sure seems like the endorsements were bribed via dog treats. The 30-second affair ends with Bloomberg’s alleged dog, Cody, saying he approved the message then the candidate doing the same.
Despite his protestations, Bloomberg has a history of dog-hesitancy. A 2011 piece in the New York Times revealed he didn’t consider his longtime girlfriend’s dogs his own, despite sharing a home with the pets. Video and photo evidence also shows this week’s snout-shake is hardly an isolated incident. There have been a few documented awkward interactions between Bloomberg and a canine. A 2013 photo, in fact, shows the then-NYC mayor cupping a different dog’s snout, seemingly pulling off the same mouth-shake he did this week.
Also, consider this picture from 2012:
Normal stuff. Regular petting. Zero bewilderment in the dog’s eyes.
Despite the campaign’s best efforts, people online weren’t exactly about to accept that dogs love Mike (and vice versa).