Politics

I Watched 185 Mike Bloomberg Ads

And I figured out what this weird, expensive, suddenly ubiquitous campaign is trying to do.

Screenshots of Mike Bloomberg ads, including one of Judge Judy, one of an empty classroom with the number 72 imposed over it, and one of the candidate eating Big Gay Ice Cream.
Four of the approximately infinite Mike Bloomberg ads his campaign has rolled out in recent months.
Photos from YouTube

Here is one inescapable fact about Michael Bloomberg’s campaign for president: There is a lot of it.

The 78-year-old former mayor of New York City is the latest Great Moderate Hope of the Democratic primary, a perch he has reached in no small part because you can’t flick on a TV or scroll down a Facebook feed without seeing his ads. A former Republican who once championed stop-and-frisk policing, who catered to capital at the expense of the poor, and who regularly says dumb things at rich-person conferences would seem to be an uphill  candidate for the Democratic nomination. But his million-dollar-a-day advertising strategy, which Democratic strategist Elizabeth Spiers memorably described recently as “mediocre messaging at massive scale,” has made him inescapable—and, by extension, electable?

The pace and extent of Bloomberg’s ad barrage is perhaps unprecedented for a political candidate, let alone for one who has yet to directly compete in a single primary or even appear on a debate stage. The ex-mayor’s campaign has spent more than $300 million on ads so far, and plans to double that amount heading toward Super Tuesday on March 3. That’s $600 million, a sum that is simultaneously less than 1 percent of Bloomberg’s net worth and, according to Axios, nine times as much money as the DNC raised in all of 2019. According to NBC News, the Bloomberg campaign averaged $1 million per day on Facebook ads in a recent two-week period—five times more than the famously Facebook-reliant Trump campaign spent during that time. No one has ever spent this much money on a presidential primary, because rarely has anyone had this much money to spend on a presidential primary.

No ad buy is too big or too small for Bloomberg—he is as comfortable spending $10 million on a minute-long Super Bowl ad as he is paying low-level social-media influencers $150 a pop to mention him on the internet. The ads produced by Bloomberg’s shop range from standard hope-and-change numbers to thirsty, weird, would-be viral videos; from wonky policy breakdowns to attack-style efforts to expose President Donald Trump’s many shortcomings. He’s hired meme guys to get the meme vote; he’s endorsed pizza and ice cream to get the junk food vote; he’s secured the endorsement of Sam Waterston to get the Law & Order vote; he’s wished America “Happy Holidays” in order to get the nonsectarian caroler vote. Bloomberg has released so many ads that it is virtually impossible to keep track of them all. But that didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to try.

Over the course of the past two weeks I sat down and attempted to watch every single ad and ad-adjacent piece of video content that the Bloomberg campaign has released on its official YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Twitter account. (I only dipped my toes into Instagram, because I had to draw the line somewhere.) Then, after rejecting a few for redundancy, I ranked them from best to worst, based solely on my own idiosyncratic criteria. (I surely missed some, and I stopped trying to find new ones a few days ago, for sanity’s sake.) Why did I do this? Because I wanted to mainline the means by which a late primary entrant with unimaginable sums of money has become a possible Democratic frontrunner.

Here’s what I learned: For one thing, that watching nearly 200 campaign ads in a short period is sort of like being brainwashed, which I suppose is the goal of all advertising. At this point, I wouldn’t say I’m aboard the Bloomberg train, but I think I would feel a little less uncomfortable buying a ticket. Many of the ads are very good. Many more of them are not. The quality of any individual ad, though, is ultimately less important than the breadth of the entire corpus. It’s not that Bloomberg doesn’t have some good ideas—he does—or that he would not be a more competent executive than our current president. The point is that the campaign’s goal is to very quickly achieve messaging saturation in lieu of the monthslong ground game Bloomberg didn’t bother to run. I hate to say it, but it’s working!

The Best

1. “Bring ‘Presidential’ Back” (Feb. 9, 2020): The most effective ads for Mike Bloomberg are those that don’t feature much Mike Bloomberg, who is as charismatic as one of his financial terminals, and instead stick to dunking on President Donald Trump, which Bloomberg’s campaign does very well. This ad juxtaposes footage of Trump saying dumb and divisive things with footage of many of the presidents who preceded him, sharply and effectively exposing Trump as a man who degrades the office he holds and the nation he leads—while not overselling the notion that Michael Bloomberg is the best man to succeed him.

2. “Here’s every school shooting since Trump took office” (Jan. 16, 2020): Sobering and unforgettable—and on an issue for which Bloomberg is actually a credible spokesman.

3. “Words Have Consequences” (Feb. 10, 2020): A very good, very simple ad in which Bloomberg, speaking clearly and passionately to what appears to be a group of Latino voters, calls out the president’s bigoted rhetoric on immigration and directly compares it to the sort of language that was used against Jews in Nazi Germany.

4. “Trump’s Real Super Bowl Ad” (Feb. 2, 2020): “America demanded change, and change is what we got,” the big-voiced announcer says before this ad swings into a harrowing, rapid-fire montage of the lowlights of the Trump era, from Neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville to migrants being caged at the border to Trump tossing rolls of paper towels to hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico. This ad and ones like it work as blanket arguments for any and all Democrats, not just for Bloomberg. By flooding the airwaves and the internet with well-produced reminders that the past four years have been very bad, Bloomberg is doing his part to boost voter turnout across the board.

5. “Judge Him” (Jan. 6, 2020): After months of breathless speculation and wall-to-wall television and tabloid prognostication, we finally know who Judge Judy will support in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Her candidate of choice is Bloomberg, who Judge Judy urges you to judge… on his record of accomplishments! If she could, she would perhaps even “sentence” all of us to “four to eight years” of Bloomberg. (She didn’t actually say that last part.) Haha, but I bet there are more “Judge Judy Voters” out there than any of us would want to believe.

6. The one about New York billionaires (Jan. 25, 2020): Bloomberg clearly thinks that Trump is a tacky, vulgar jerk who overinflates his wealth and conflates gaudiness with good taste, and while that might not be the most substantive critique of Trump, it certainly is not an inaccurate one! Here, Bloomberg refutes that notion that America does not want to see the presidential race come down to a choice between two New York billionaires. “Who’s the other one?” Bloomberg asks. Burn!

7. “AJ” (Jan. 31, 2020): Around the Super Bowl, the Bloomberg campaign released a bunch of spots featuring individuals whose lives had been affected by gun violence. This ad, featuring a Colorado man whose son was killed in the Aurora movie-theater shooting, is the most effective of the bunch in part because of its compelling pitch to swing voters. “I’m a gun owner, I’m a police officer, I’m a Republican, and I’m gonna vote for Mike.”

8. The one that Auto-Tunes Trump (Dec. 19, 2019): In an attempt to position their near-octogenarian billionaire candidate as not just a man of the people, but also a man of the internet, Bloomberg’s campaign has commissioned a bunch of “how-do-you-do-fellow-kids”-style spots that strive for viral weirdness. This one, which uses Auto-Tuned snippets of Trump’s speeches to turn a “confession” of his impeachable offenses into a toe-tapping ditty, isn’t just the best of these, it is also surprisingly catchy. If this track were released as a single, there is a nonzero chance that it would chart.

9. “My father taught me…” (Dec. 31, 2019): This video, in which Bloomberg talks about his by-the-bootstraps upbringing and the value of hard work, is one of the few in which he actually seems likable and comes across as natural—maybe because he also doesn’t seem to be scripted. But the real point of the spot is to contrast Bloomberg’s self-made billions with Trump’s inherited wealth.

10. “Mike Love Big Gay Ice Cream” (Jan. 29, 2020): In its lonely quest to make the internet believe that Rich Mike, who wears expensive purple sweaters and spends lots of time in Bermuda, is Weird Self-Aware Mike, Bloomberg’s team has released several low-budget, shot-in-a-minute spots in which the candidate stands in a campaign office and woodenly endorses various foodstuffs and/or holidays. This message, in which Bloomberg calls out for ice cream from Big Gay Ice Cream—an ice cream store in New York—is my favorite of these, in part because never before has someone seemed so wooden and odd while touting the virtues of ice cream. Bloomberg comes across like Mr. Burns in that one Simpsons episode where he had his first taste of “iced cream.” Oh, Weird Mike, you awkward, lovable, billionaire scamp!

11. “This is not who we are” (Feb. 4, 2020): Similar to “Trump’s Real Super Bowl Ad” (No. 4 on this list,) but no less effective. Bloomberg is hitting home, over and over and over, just how Not Normal the Trump era is. With his budget, he can!

12. “Quick Bites With Mike: Pizza” (Feb. 9, 2020): “Weird Mike” Bloomberg explains what makes a good pizza: a very thin, burned crust, with cracked red pepper and pepperoni on top. Donald Trump, on the other hand, appeared in a 1995 commercial for Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza. Weird Mike wins the pizza primary.

13. “America Deserves Better” (Jan. 12, 2020): Bloomberg describes the gulf between Trump’s rhetoric and results when it comes to tax cuts and job creation. “President Trump passed the biggest tax cut in history, and nearly all of the money went to people who did not need it, like me,” he says. Bloomberg certainly does not need more money to spend on ads!

14. The one about clean coal (Feb. 12, 2020): Strong, issue-based ad that also has fun mocking Trump’s obsession with so-called “clean” coal, which is not a thing.

15. “He’s Done It, He’ll Do It” (Jan. 16, 2020): A nurse practitioner from New York City touts Bloomberg’s bona fides on health care reform, because she “saw what Mike Bloomberg did as mayor” on the issue. The point here isn’t so much the specifics of Bloomberg’s past policy accomplishments, just that Bloomberg comes across as a much more appealing candidate when someone more relatable than him is speaking on his behalf.

16. “George” (Jan. 30, 2020): Bloomberg’s minute-long Super Bowl ad featured the mother of George Kemp, an aspiring football player who was shot and killed in Texas in 2013. This ad is shot in the same style as the “AJ” ad (No. 7), and it is similarly effective and very, very sad. I think that Bloomberg is smart to make gun control his signature issue (for one thing, it is one of the few traditionally Democratic policy planks on which he can truly stand) and to do so with heart-wrenching ads like this—even if, as you’ll see from this list, there are a lot of them.

17. “Immigrants Make America Great” (Feb. 10, 2020): Gut-wrenching ad intercutting footage of Trump’s charged rhetoric on immigrants and immigration with footage of idiots yelling at Latinos across America. Another ad that seems like it’s less about getting people to vote Bloomberg than about getting them to vote against the Trump administration.

18. “Nice Try” (Feb. 7, 2020): A rebuttal to Trump’s attempts to take credit for the good economy by noting that the current recovery began during the Obama administration—and that Trump falls short of Obama on almost every meaningful economic metric. It’s smart to attack Trump directly on what most voters view as his biggest selling point. I also thought this ad featured a good use of a “FALSE” buzzer. More ads should feature buzzers, and also airhorns.

19. “Lunar New Year” (Jan. 25, 2020): Weird Mike is startled by the camera as he draws Chinese characters on a whiteboard, shouting “Oh, hi!” in the grand tradition of nonactors everywhere pretending to be surprised by a camera. “Happy Lunar New Year in the year of the rat!” he says, pronouncing “year of the rat” with great verve. Peak Weird Mike.

20. “Con” (Nov. 25, 2019): A repackaged clip of Bloomberg mocking Donald Trump’s purported business acumen at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business? God help us,” Bloomberg says as the crowd bursts into laughter. Points for the good line, but demerits for Bloomberg’s nasal, unappealing delivery. Bloomberg should hire James Earl Jones to dub his voice for the duration of the campaign, and, if it comes to it, the presidency.

21. The one with a John Mellencamp endorsement (Feb. 11, 2020): John Mellencamp cradles a guitar while marveling at how Mike Bloomberg cannot be bought. This ad is better than the many other Mellencamp ads the campaign has produced, because, here, Mellencamp says absolutely nothing about how he was born, lives, and will ultimately die in a small town. We get it, John Mellencamp. You don’t own a car.

22. “We’re glad to have Judge Judy in our corner…” (Jan. 6, 2020): This shorter Judge Judy endorsement is good because it ends with Sheindlin saying, “Case closed.” That’s it!

23. “The Donalds: Outstanding Hypocrisy” (Feb. 9, 2020): During the Academy Awards, the Bloomberg campaign’s Twitter account hosted its own faux-awards ceremony—“The Donalds”—bestowing various unflattering awards on the president. This one, which zings our National Anthem Respecter in Chief for fidgeting and mock-conducting during a performance of the National Anthem at what appears to be a gala dinner, was my favorite, in part because the video definitively shows that the president has no sense of tempo and no knowledge of proper conducting patterns! As a voter who once did a semester-long independent study in choral conducting, this clip hit me right where I live.

24. “Promoting Literacy – One Haircut at a Time” (Jan. 24, 2020): This long ad features a cool barber who also likes to promote literacy among local youth, and very little Bloomberg-related content. Bloomberg/Cool Barber 2020? A man in need of a haircut can certainly dream!

25. “Ballad of a Climate Denier” (Dec. 13, 2019): I like this ad, which spotlights Trump’s refusal to believe that climate change is real, but the jaunty steel drum music in the background just reminds me that Bloomberg used to jet off to Bermuda every weekend when he was mayor of New York City.

26. “Koreatown…” (Jan. 18, 2020): It isn’t really an ad, and it probably doesn’t belong so high on this list, but I am obsessed with this soundless, wordless, four-second video composed of still photographs of Bloomberg taking a tour of Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood.
The other night I watched it on a loop for like seven minutes. Why is this a piece of content that was posted to the internet by a professional political campaign?

19 Pretty Good Bloomberg Ads

27. “Joyce” (Jan. 31, 2020)

28. “Donald J. Trump, I know you’ve been watching our ads…” (Jan. 22, 2020)

29. “Drug Prices” (Jan. 27, 2020)

30. “The Heart of the Greenwood Initiative” (Jan. 16, 2020)

31. “The Next Generation Deserves Clean Air and Water” (Jan. 22, 2020)

32.  “Jared” (Jan. 31, 2020)

33. “Make Work Pay” (1/27/20)

34. “Gun Violence in America | Open Mike” (Jan. 31, 2020)

35. “Trump’s Broken Promises” (Feb. 4, 2020)

36. “Kedrick” (Jan. 31, 2020)

37. “Trump Disrespects Our Troops” (Jan. 24, 2020)

38. “Let’s Rebuild Our Union” (Feb. 12, 2020)

39. “Mary Ann” (Jan. 31, 2020)

40. “Colin” (Jan. 31, 2020)

41. “Kirsten” (Jan. 31, 2020)

42. “Worked” (Jan. 25, 2020)

43. “Saving Lives” (Jan. 16, 2020)

44. “Sari” (Jan. 31, 2020)

45. The one about how Trump is a loser (Jan. 17, 2020)

The Best of the Mediocrities

46. “The Donalds: Most Lies Told in One Speech” (Feb. 9, 2020): Footage of Trump in his post-acquittal press conference, just saying the word “lie” over and over, as an animated gingerbread man dances on his shoulder. This is so stupid. (Don’t worry, the ads get way stupider.)

47. “Home is where the heart is” (Dec. 15, 2019): “Together we can send him back, not to Mar-a-Lago, but to Mother Russia.” Once more, to music!

48. “Rebuild America” (Nov. 24, 2019): Bloomberg launched his campaign with this nearly two-minute spot that portrays him as a “jobs creator, leader, [and] problem solver.” The ad leans heavily on B-roll to make it look like Bloomberg spends half his time having heart-to-hearts with members of the middle class and joshing with patients in the hospital.

49. “Hindsight is 2020” (Jan. 16, 2020): An oddly peppy “happy holidays” message from Weird Mike, posted to YouTube weeks after the holidays ended.

50. “Mike Will Create the First Wildfire Protection Corps” (Jan. 16, 2020): Take that, Space Corps!

25 So-So Ads

51. “DACA Makes Dreams Possible” (Feb. 11, 2020)

52. “Remembering the Holocaust: (Jan. 27, 2020)

53. “Trump Is Lying About the Economy” (Feb. 4, 2020)

54. “Dedrick” (Jan. 31, 2020)

55. “Shawn” (Jan. 31, 2020)

56. “The Donalds: OUTSTANDING RUSSIAN PATRIOT” (Feb. 9, 2020)

57. “The Donalds: OUTSTANDING FREUDIAN SLIP” (Feb. 9, 2020)

58. “The Donalds: BEST FICTIONAL WALL” (Feb. 9, 2020)

59. “How We Will Win” (short version) (Dec. 27, 2019)

60. “Nancy” (Jan. 31, 2020)

61. “Coal Ash and the Water We Drink” (Jan. 25, 2020)

62. “Mike’s Record Fighting Gun Violence” (Dec. 6, 2019)

63. “Donnell” (Feb. 7, 2020)

64. “Women’s Rights Are Under Attack” (Jan. 18, 2020)

65. “Fighting for Gun Safety” (Jan. 31, 2020)

66. “Record on Climate” (Jan. 16, 2020)

67. “Alex” (Jan. 31, 2020)

68. “Trump’s Health Care Lies” (Jan. 13, 2020)

69. “The Legacy of Black Wall Street” Jan. 24, 2020)

70. “Life After the Parkland Shooting 2020” (Feb. 3, 2020)

71. “Mary” (Jan. 31, 2020)

72. “Open Mike: The True Cost of Health Care” (Jan. 16, 2020)

73. “Pat” (Jan. 31, 2020)

74. “Honoring Black History” (Feb. 3, 2020)

75. “Women for Mike” (Jan. 16, 2020)

You’re Losing Me, Mike

76. “Part of the problem with helping Americans find homes…” (Jan. 31, 2020): A wonky, silent video in which Bloomberg sets out his specific solutions for the homelessness crisis. I mistrust Bloomberg on this issue, but at least it did not hurt my ears.

77. “#MayorsForMike: Michael Nutter” (Jan. 16, 2020): This ad’s virtue is that former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter has lots of enthusiasm. Its undoing is that Nutter’s “I Like Mike” sweatshirt might be the ugliest sweatshirt I have ever seen.

78. “Women’s health in this country is under attack…” (Dec. 31, 2019): This video begins by listing all of the countries in which you are less likely to die in childbirth than you are in the United States. A sobering travelogue through the world of maternal health care, yes, but it also misspells “Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

79. “Is something burning?” (Feb. 5, 2020): The Bloomberg social-media ads team is obsessed with juxtaposing footage of Donald Trump with an animated gingerbread man doing the twist as his feet catch on fire. I weep for the future of this country.

80. “We Need Economic Justice for Black Americans” (Jan. 30, 2020): Points for the good and necessary message here, demerits for the tacit assumption that charter schools are a tool of economic justice.

81. Another one with John Mellencamp (Feb. 5, 2020): A montage of scenes from small-town America, soundtracked by that Mellencamp song about small-town America, featuring a cameo from Mellencamp. Maybe this corny shit is why so many people are so desperate to leave their small towns? This 30-second video also comes in a minute-long version, which isn’t much better.

23 Ads That Make My Face Numb 

82.    “Stephanie Murphy” (Jan. 23, 2020)

83.    “United for Mike” (Jan. 26, 2020)

84.     “Lie Lie Lie” (Feb. 6, 2020)

85. “Sick” (Feb. 16, 2020)

86. Richard V. Spencer endorses Bloomberg (Feb. 8, 2020)

87. Sam Waterston endorses Bloomberg (Jan. 17, 2020)

88. “How We Will Win” (Dec. 23, 2019)

89. “Giving Back” (Jan. 16, 2020)

90.    “Problem Solver Health Coverage” (Jan. 16, 2020)

91. “Proud With Mike” (Jan. 28, 2020)

92. “The Cost of Trump’s Travel Ban” (Feb. 6, 2020)

93. “Joe” (Jan. 31, 2020)

94. “Christa Palmer” (Dec. 17, 2019)

95. “Trump’s Climate Future” (Dec. 17, 2019)

96. “Preserving Democracy” (Feb. 10, 2020):

97. “Mike’s Gossip Girl Cameo” (Jan. 26, 2020)

98. “Trump Clearly Doesn’t Understand Climate Science” (Jan. 23, 2020)

99. “Derek Herrera” (Jan. 12, 2020)

100. “This Is #WomenForMike” (Jan. 15, 2020)

101. “Latinas Deserve Equal Pay” (Feb. 4, 2020)

102. “Trump’s Broken Promises to Veterans” (Jan. 5, 2020)

103. “Mike Supports Statehood for Puerto Rico” (Jan. 27, 2020)

104. “Pence Was Grilled on Planned Medicaid Cuts” (Feb. 2, 2020)

Several Enervating Ads, Only One of Which Features John Mellencamp

105. “Dhani Jones Likes Mike” (Feb. 1, 2020): Former NFL player Dhani Jones contends that Bloomberg is so fond of tackling problems that you might as well call him “America’s linebacker.” Pass!

106. “On the Economy” (Dec. 13, 2019): I got distracted during this spot about Bloomberg’s track record of job creation by wondering whether that’s a U2 song playing in the background, or if it just sort of sounds like U2. It isn’t U2, I don’t think, even though Bloomberg is definitely rich enough to license a U2 song as background music for a low-leverage YouTube ad.

107. “Let’s Reunite America” (Jan. 17, 2020): Unmemorable ad, except for the incredibly disdainful way in which Bloomberg pronounces the word “tweeting.” This guy cannot stand Donald Trump, in a way that is different from and funnier than any other candidate in the Democratic field.

108. “Not One” (Jan. 16, 2020): The many ads bragging about how Bloomberg has not and will not take a single campaign contribution from anyone but himself are less effective and inspiring than his campaign seems to think. The idea is that Bloomberg’s self-financing means he cannot be bought; New Yorkers know it also means he will not be meaningfully held accountable to anyone but himself.

109. “#ProudwithMike” (Jan. 28, 2020): Barely an ad at all, but worth mentioning because of how the Bloomberg campaign consistently and correctly lower-cases its conjunctions, even in hashtags. More like #CopyEditorsforMike.

110. “We Can Beat the Opioid Crisis” (Jan. 6, 2020): One of Bloomberg’s “Open Mike” videos in which regular people ask him questions. This one features a woman who has run a sober-living house in Ohio ever since her daughter died. The topic is important, the woman’s story is compelling, and the ad is effective right up to the point where Bloomberg answers a question about treatment versus incarceration by saying “I think, and I’ve worked very hard on this, anything you can do to keep that child out of the prison system, you’re doing God’s work. We correct in the wrong direction.” I think that the many thousands of minority New Yorkers who were caught up in the city and state penal system because of the Bloomberg-endorsed stop-and-frisk policing program during his mayoralty would question Bloomberg’s commitment to keeping kids out of prison.

111. One of the ones where an Instagram influencer tries to make the world believe that Weird Mike is a thing (Feb. 12, 2020): While this little spon-con gem from the Instagram influencer “Neat Dad” isn’t a video, it’s still worth mentioning as a representative example of the Bloomberg campaign’s wide-ranging efforts to harness viral weirdness on their stodgy old rich-guy candidate’s behalf. This ad is literally just a screenshot of a purported Instagram message exchange between Neat Dad and Bloomberg, in which Bloomberg asks if Neat Dad will follow him back. It is unfunny in the very specific manner of normal people trying to pretend that they know what weirdness is; it is disturbing in its effort to construct a faux-goofy persona around one of the literal richest men in human history. It has also received almost 29,000 likes in the past four days, which means that it is working. Weird Mike wins again!

112. “Fair Shake” (Jan. 16, 2020): This ad is very on-message, insofar as Michael Bloomberg shakes a lot of people’s hands in it.

113. “John Mellencamp Supports Mike” (Feb. 6, 2020): Mellencamp’s enormous forehead is a distraction from his earnest insistence that Mike is the best man for the job, and that he will not be bullied in debates with Trump. Pffft! All Trump has to do is make fun of Bloomberg’s surrogates’ enormous foreheads, and he’ll fold like a newspaper.

32 Ads That Blur Together

114. “Can’t Afford” (Jan. 16, 2020)

115. “Fixing Health Care for All” (Dec. 19, 2019)

116. “A Guide to Mike’s Gun Safety Plan” (Jan. 30, 2020)

117. “They fought. They served. They sacrificed.” (Feb. 7, 2020)

118. “Together, We’ll #GetItDone” (Jan. 18, 2020)

119. “Lobbyists…” (Dec. 19, 2019)

120. “Trump Isn’t Above the Law” (Jan. 30, 2020)

121. “Our Interests” (Jan. 16, 2020)

122. “Scott Cooper” (Jan. 9, 2020)

123. “The Cost of Health Care” (Feb. 5, 2020)

124. “Wildfires Are Getting Bigger” (Jan. 16, 2020)

125. The one with Obama (Feb. 5, 2020)

126. The one about coronavirus (Feb. 11, 2020)

127. “Trump Lies About Military Casualties” (Jan. 29, 2020)

128. “End Gun Violence” (Dec. 6, 2019)

129. “We Need to Protect Voter Rights” (Jan. 21, 2020)

130.  “We can’t take battleground states like Minnesota for Granted” (Jan. 23, 2020)

131. “Trump Doesn’t Care About Your Entitlements” (Feb. 10, 2020)

132. “I support the Second Amendment, but…” (Jan. 6, 2020)

133. “#WomenforMike: What’s at Stake this Election” (Jan. 30, 2020)

134. “Why Audra Likes Mike” (Feb. 10, 2020)

135. The one about clean energy (Dec. 13, 2019)

136. “The Real State of the Union” (Feb. 4, 2020)

137. “El Sueño Americano Es Posible” (Jan. 30, 2020)

138. “I know what it takes to beat Trump…” (Nov. 25, 2019)

139. “Fighting Climate Change” (Jan. 17, 2020)

140. “Mike will cut homelessness in half…” (Jan. 30, 2020)

141. “Mike Stands with Pope Francis in the Fight against Climate Change” (Feb. 12, 2020)

142. “I’m running to defeat Donald Trump” (Jan. 21, 2020)

143. “Golf Course” (Jan. 31, 2020)

144. “Path to Success” (Jan. 16, 2020)

145. “#WomenForMike: Meet Audrey” (Jan. 15, 2020)

An Enraging Ad About Trains

146. “Infrastructure” (January 23, 2020): Yes, Trump has not lived up to his promises to improve America’s infrastructure, but I was annoyed by this video’s claim that, as mayor of New York City, Bloomberg “extended a critical subway line.” Really? First, extending the 7 train out to 10th Avenue as a sop to the hideous Hudson Yards development never struck me as a critical extension of the city’s subway system. Second, the governor of New York state, not the mayor of New York City, is responsible for the MTA. Finally, and most egregiously, even though Bloomberg was known for taking the subway to work when he was mayor, he also would have his chauffeur drive him from his house to the nearest express train stop, 22 blocks away, even though he could literally have just walked to the nearby local train. Who does that?

31 Ads I Will Cite When I Bill Slate for Therapy

147. “America has an outdated and unfair immigration system…” (Feb. 10, 2020)

148. “Trump’s discriminatory travel ban…” (Feb. 10, 2020)

149. “Texas” (Dec. 8, 2019)

150. “When Veterans Become Entrepreneurs” (Feb. 12, 2020)

151. “I will always have Israel’s back” (Jan. 26, 2020)

152. “Ryan McGill” (Jan. 12, 2020)

153. “The Cost of Health Care in America is Out-of-Control” (Feb. 4, 2020)

154. Trump Is Angry” (Jan. 31, 2020)

155. “Hardie Davis” (Dec. 7, 2019)

156. “Mayors for Mike” (Feb. 4, 2020)

157. “This Is How Liberty Dies” (Feb. 6, 2020)

158. “Reform Criminal Justice…” (Dec. 4, 2019)

159. “Was There a Quid Pro Quo?” (Jan. 29, 2020)

160. “We Like Mike” (Feb. 13, 2020)

161. Another one about coronavirus (Feb. 11, 2020) 

162. Trump’s Vape Ban Is Weak” (Feb. 6, 2020)

163. “It’s Time to Fix Health Care” (Dec. 19, 2019)

164. “Protecting Our Kids” (Jan. 16, 2020)

165. The one with a onesie (Dec. 17, 2019)

166. “I am running a campaign for all Americans” (Jan. 28, 2020)

167. “Australia Is Burning” (Jan. 16, 2020)

168. “Part of Trump’s Wall Falls” (Feb. 4, 2020)

169. “Your Team Matters” (Jan. 31, 2020)

170. “Mayors for Mike: Greg Fischer” (Jan. 14, 2020)

171. “Donald Trump knows I can beat him” (Feb. 2, 2020)

172. Not One Penny” (Jan. 14, 2020)

173. “Problem Solver Tax Policy” (Jan. 16, 2020)

174. “An Infrastructure Plan for the 21st Century” (Jan. 22, 2020)

175. “Mike’s Peeps” (Feb. 6, 2020)

176. The one about young voters (Feb. 3, 2020)

177. “Both Sides” (Jan. 28, 2020) 

The Very Worst

178. “Why Molly Supports Mike” (Jan. 31, 2020): Sadly not a crossover ad with the television show Mike and Molly, but instead an ad in which an old lady announces that she supports Bloomberg because he once sent her a letter. If that sounds to you like it would make for a great Mike and Molly episode, well, have I got a spec script for you!

179. The one that’s literally just six seconds of Bloomberg filling a pothole (Jan. 22, 2020): Mayors, man. You don’t see governors or senators out there filming themselves doing this cheesy shit, and then bragging on their blue-collar photo-op as if it makes them John Mellencamp or something.

180. The one where Bloomberg talks about Israel several years ago on Neil Cavuto’s show (Jan. 26, 2020): In this clip, which is several years old, Bloomberg talks about Israel while appearing on Neil Cavuto’s show.

181. “We’re Just Getting Started” (Feb. 4, 2020): Here we learn that Bloomberg’s campaign bus is called the “Get It Done Express,” and all I can think is that Larry the Cable Guy needs to either endorse him or sue him, stat!

182. “Get It Done” (Feb. 5, 2020): A wooden spot in which Bloomberg explains what that “it” in his campaign slogan is. Can’t give it all away!

183. “DogsFurMike” (Jan. 29, 2020): I’m not a dog guy, so I’ll concede this spot wasn’t made for me. That said, this hell-nightmare of an ad, in which various dogs in New York profess to endorse Bloomberg, is one of the worst things I have ever seen. “I like Mike. I lick Mike,” one dog “says.” Buddy, if you want to go viral with a dog-adjacent endorsement, just hire Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. It’s worth nothing that Bloomberg is also not a dog guy, as shown most recently when he met a dog on the campaign trail and attempted to shake its mouth.

184. “Andrew Yang…” (Feb. 12, 2020): This video, released the day after Andrew Yang bowed out of the race, literally just slaps a Mike Bloomberg 2020 logo onto footage of Yang on the campaign trail, and then ends by saying “Andrew Yang: Mike Bloomberg supports you” while pleading for the #yanggang to join #teammike. Excessively thirsty, sort of tacky.

185. “Michael Douglas Endorses Mike Bloomberg” (Jan. 20, 2020): The very worst Bloomberg spot is a bad ad and an ineffective celebrity endorsement for a few reasons. First, Michael Douglas looks horrible. Second, in a real life-imitates-art scenario, he comes across as a big jerk, announcing, “This is Michael Douglas, and I’m not often in a supporting role.” Third, it is an oddly tone-deaf choice for the rapacious multi-billionaire attempting to purchase an election to flog an endorsement from an actor most famous for playing a character who argued that “greed is good.” What are we doing, Mikes?