Bill de Blasio, the struggle mayor of New York City, recently announced that he is running for president. Everyone thinks this is a bad idea. New Yorkers, the people who elected de Blasio in the first place, have overwhelmingly said that they don’t want him to run, and even people close to de Blasio have scoffed at it. But he’s doing it anyway. He is one of 23 Democrats vying for the presidency. And as a presidential candidate, de Blasio is now submitting to all the traditional indignities involved, including interviews where he talks about his musical tastes. And because of that, we have now leaned some magical news: Bill de Blasio loves ska. Literally, he says, “I love ska.”
This morning, de Blasio sat for an interview on CNN’s New Day. He called the show’s studio “snazzy.” He pretended to laugh at various late-night comedians’ jokes about him. He tried to get over “Con Don” as a nickname for Donald Trump. He used the word “tough” to describe himself about 57 times. He generally thrashed around desperately. And yet the moment that immediately became meme-bait was de Blasio saying, “I love ska.”
During the interview, de Blasio talked a bit about his musical tastes. He named the Clash as his favorite band of all time. (Good choice! Fellow Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke agrees!) He also says London Calling has “many good hits” on it, which is a fascinatingly odd choice of words. He says nice things about Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. And upon being asked about ska, he affirms that, yes, he loves it. CNN host Alisyn Camerota responds with this: “There’s a whole hidden ska happening inside me.” Another fascinatingly odd choice of words! A whole hidden ska!
De Blasio is now the only mayor in New York history who has admitted to loving ska, even though New York once literally had a mayor named Rudy.
Here’s the video; the music talk starts around the nine-minute mark:
Bill De Blasio: "I love ska." pic.twitter.com/zbdD0TFtKE
— Jon Dieringer (@jondotd) May 21, 2019
There have been jokes. Here are some, via Mashable:
“How do you feel about ska” is a typical gotcha question https://t.co/t4fdx4cVNK
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) May 21, 2019
"Have you ever been close to tragedy, or been close to folks who have?"
Ska lyrics that double as descriptors of his pointless campaign. ♂️ https://t.co/R6nPa4jFDQ
— Pierce (@PierceAH66) May 21, 2019
I too have a checkered past bill
— Smo (@Smomotion) May 21, 2019
A theory: Bill de Blasio is now targeting his message at an underserved minority within the Democratic base. He is going after neglected X-ennials. He is speaking directly to the people who saw Reel Big Fish live multiple times in high school, who once seriously considered getting tattoos of the Operation Ivy skanking-guy logo, who know the tragedy of getting your wallet chain stuck in a park bench and then your back pocket rips out when you try to stand up. If you get slightly and quietly disappointed every time there’s a new Vampire Weekend album with no ska songs on it, Bill de Blasio feels your pain. (The unfulfilled promise of the first Obama campaign is nothing compared the the unfulfilled promise of “A-Punk” and “Holiday.”)
Well, mission accomplished! I’m on board! De Blasio for president! Hup hup hup hup pick it up!