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El Bloombito Is Back! Michael Bloomberg's Spanglish Satirist Speaks. (Q&A)

"I've always said, I'll do it with El Bloombito until I don't want to do it anymore. If he becomes president, I'll do it a bit longer."

Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

As soon as reports surfaced that billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg was mulling a third-party bid for the White House, the call went out on social media for the return of @elbloombito, the satirical Twitter account created in 2011 to lampoon the former New York mayor’s fractured Spanish.

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Who could resist the voice of the people? Not @Jewyorican, the creator of the parody Miguel Bloombito account.

https://twitter.com/ElBloombito/status/690937641768984576

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We spent a few moments with Jewyorican Rachel Figueroa to talk about the return of @elbloombito.

Re/code: What inspired you to create the Twitter parody?

Rachel Figueroa: Well, it was four years ago, it was Hurricane Irene and I was sort of holed up in my apartment waiting for the apocalypse along with everyone else. I had my iPhone in my right hand and my then infant daughter on my left hip.

It started out as a joke with my neighbors. We were all on Twitter talking with each other. We were all sort of watching Bloomberg’s press conference when he started the Spanish thing. I live in a hispanic neighborhood. I’m Puerto Rican. It was like a joint funny moment in Spanish. I created the account mostly to continue the joke with my friends. Then, other people started paying attention.

Were you surprised by its popularity? (@elbloombito has about 70,000 followers.)

Initially, I was very surprised. I was surprised less so during Hurricane Sandy, when it had an uptick in popularity.

It’s weird. Growing up [I heard] you’ll be a success if you put effort into something. The thing that’s gotten me the most notoriety is the thing I put the least effort into. There’s a lesson in that somewhere. (She also home-schools her daughter, designs websites, does freelance production work, flies airplanes and makes soap in her spare time.)

Did the real Bloomberg ever acknowledge you?

A couple of times. It was a little bit awkward at first. My father is the director of photography for the New York Police Department, so he’s met the mayor a number of time. After El Bloombito my dad got an award from the mayor for something. That was an awkward barrel of laughs.

Toward the end of his administration, [Bloomberg] went on the radio and said people who made fun of his Spanish need to get a life. That’s an acknowledgment of sorts. Here’s my thing: If it’s a campaign event and you want to bust out your Spanish that’s fantastic. If you need to tell people to evacuate, you need someone who speaks Spanish to tell them to evacuate.

In the past, you’ve tackled the former New York mayor’s policies and his personal wealth. What’s your favorite tweet?

The best one — the favorite — was when he endorsed Obama during his reelection. I did a riff on La Bloombita and Obamba. I thought it was funny.

What opportunities does a possible presidential bid present for @elbloombito?

I’ve always said, I’ll do it with El Bloombito until I don’t want to do it anymore. If he becomes president, I’ll do it a bit longer.


This was welcome news for a city shaking off the chill effects of the weekend blizzard. Call it the perfect storm.

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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.