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With busy, vaguely tense music in the distant background, we are confronted with some very counterintuitive images of Mike Bloomberg: First, he’s wearing a brown leather jacket and khakis; second, he’s standing on neighborhood sidewalks like a regular person; and third, he affects to be listening to non-millionaires — not with the let’s-get-this-over-with boredom with which he countenanced citizens at the term limits bill signing, but with real, feigned interest. Bloomberg in V/O tells us the economy’s in trouble — “I hear it — I hear it when I take the subways, I hear it when I walk the streets of the neighborhoods.” His bodyguards must be thinking out loud. Message: I can hear!
Then we see Hizzoner sitting in what looks like a classroom with what seem to be realpeoples. He is holding a paper coffee cup and, again, casually dressed. No longer in V/O, he is telling the reals “But we can do something about it, we are gonna come out of this… the city can’t do everything but the city can do a lot to make it easier for the people who live in the city.” As in a vision, we see a nice couple strolling down a sidewalk in the Bronx. Message: I know you exist!
Then comes a voice of real authority and voiceover training, telling us as Mike practices his looking-like-he’s-listening skills that the Mayor has a “Five-Borough Economic Opportunity Plan” with themes familiar from his State of the City speech and familiar tropes like “Cut taxes” and “Reduce red tape,” and just enough specifics (“Creating space for a major beer distributor in Brooklyn”) to give it some granularity. Message: Mike and his PowerPoint will save our city!
The Mayor returns to tell us that we “can’t afford to play games,” which is what monkeying around with some non-businessman Mayor would certainly be, and touting his “independent leadership” that will “deliver for people not special interests” (ahem, ahem, ahem, ahem, etc) and “never lose focus of what really matters: jobs. Jobs for New Yorkers in all five boroughs.” Message: Re-elect Mike and his business skills, heretofore devoted to boondoggles, will be repurposed to getting you the job you so desperately need! Of course he’s serious — look at that jacket!
Spanish version here.