This week, the Michael Bloomberg 2020 campaign tweeted out one of the most confusing political ads I’ve ever seen. In it, the candidate stands in an office bullpen and asks, “Where’s my ice cream?” A disembodied hand hands him a carton of Big Gay Ice Cream, the NYC-based chain. Bloomberg eats a weird, melty spoonful of ice cream, then says to the camera: “Big Gay Ice Cream is the best.” A chill ran up my spine upon viewing it.
Responding to the video, Vice asked a pointed question: Does Michael Bloomberg know how to eat ice cream? The answer, clearly, is no. But to be fair to Mike, ice cream isn’t exactly a dish one looks cool eating. Especially ice cream that’s been sitting out for stretches of time—for instance, the length of a video shoot—under hot lights, and has been reduced to semi-solid glops. There’s no correct way to eat ice cream under these conditions. There are so many other NYC dishes that would look better to consume on screen: dollar-slice pizza, bagels, dumplings, the list goes on.
But integral to deciding what food would’ve been better for Bloomberg to eat on camera is figuring out what the purpose of this video was in the first place. Is the billionaire doing sponcon for Big Gay Ice Cream? Was this his way of trying to show support for the LGBTQ community? Or does he simply want to come out as the definitive pro-ice cream candidate? If that’s his move, he’s got some work to do: Joe Biden is a notorious ice cream lover, and one of the Ben and Jerry’s co-founders made a Bernie Sanders ice cream flavor. But hey, if Bloomberg’s stance on frozen treats doesn’t churn up grassroots support, he can always just buy the entire ice cream industry.