21:06 GMT29 November 2020
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    The Democratic debate on 14 January has taken place just weeks ahead of the first nominating contest of the primary, the Iowa caucuses, set for 3 February, as just six candidates faced off on stage to make their pitches, with White House candidate Michael Bloomberg not making the cut.

    Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s White House campaign apparently found a way to generate attention on Tuesday night despite the fact its 2020 presidential election candidate was not on the primary debate stage in Iowa.

    While the six contenders - Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren – clashed on stage, over the handling of the Iran crisis, trade deals and health care, among other issues, Bloomberg’s campaign reportedly published a string of unusual tweets along with a pinned message explaining the motive behind  their gambit.

    "The #DemDebate is tonight. Because Mike hasn't taken any campaign donations, he won't be on stage. But we're here on Twitter, tweeting stuff. Fun stuff. The very best stuff," the message said.

    ​Bloomberg’s official Twitter account fired off dozens of tweets embracing a ludicrously broad range of issues, ranging from what a potential Bloomberg presidency would entail to tattoo choices, Vicks VapoRub, telepathically with dolphins, snack food and others.

    Snack food also featured prominently in the twitter feed.

    ​Most of the "fun" tweets indirectly touched upon the Democratic debate.

    ​The campaign’s tweets drew mixed responses from Twitter fans, with many wondering if it had been hacked.

    ​Some ridiculed spending money on such “nonsense”.

    ​Other netizens just went with the flow of tweets and enjoyed them.

    ​In the end, Joseph Marks, reporter for The Cybersecurity 202 newsletter at The Washington Post, went on Twitter to claim Bloomberg’s account had not been hacked after all.

    “In case anyone's wondering, per a Bloomberg campaign spokesman this Twitter handle has not been hacked: "Thanks for checking in. We’re not compromised. Tonight, the Bloomberg 2020 social team is trying something fun tonight.""

    ​The “fun” tweets appeared to be an effort to distract attention to the Bloomberg 2020 campaign during the Democratic debate, which was the final such event before the Iowa caucus on 3 February.

    The former New York mayor is not competing in Iowa or the three states following it after a late entry into the presidential race.

    Candidates must have garnered the support of 225,000 unique donors and reached 5 per cent support in at least four DNC-approved polls or at least 7 per cent support in two single-state polls focused on Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada to qualify for Tuesday’s debate.

    Media mogul Bloomberg is fully self-funding his campaign and thus did not qualify since he is not accepting any donations.

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    Tags:
    Iowa Caucus, Iowa, Democratic Debates, Democratic Debate, Democratic Debate, Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg
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