Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg's #DemDebate Meatball, Explained

Why does he think this is "fun?"

Is this a fever dream? Am I hallucinating? Or did presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg's official campaign Twitter account send out a photo of a meatball with his face superimposed on it and, just an hour later, remark that CNN debate moderator Wolf Blitzer "can devour an elk carcass in one sitting"?

While six leading candidates — Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Vice President Joe Biden; billionaire Tom Steyer; and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — took the Democratic debate stage on Tuesday (January 14), a dozen other Democratic presidential candidates were watching from the outside and, of course, tweeting. But no one was doing it quite like Bloomberg's team.

For instance, here are a bunch of tweets that were sent at the same time: Andrew Yang retweeted a photo of him and his wife with the message "American needs this couple." Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard said she was the "candidate who is best positioned to defeat Donald Trump," though she did not make it on stage. Bloomberg's team said candidates could push a "button on their podium" to get a "refreshing Gatorade Fierce Melon energy drink."

It looks like the team might be having second thoughts about their strategy. One message in which Bloomberg's team's twitter was counting how many D batteries he can fit in his mouth at one time was deleted. ("UPDATE: as of last night, it's now up to 11," a followup comment read.) Gaze upon the screenshot below, preserved in amber for  posterity.

Screenshot from Team Bloomberg's twitter

We wonder, then, why they would keep tweets like "Mike can telepathically communicate with dolphins"? Could it be some sort of elaborate hack? A Bloomberg campaign spokesman told Joseph Marks, a journalist at the Washington Post,  it was not. Rather, they are "trying something fun tonight." Interestingly, Marks' tweet was a retweet of the deleted battery message.

Bloomberg's official Twitter account even quote-tweeted two of the posts, responding to the first with the question, "Should I be worried about this?" The second commented on the message, "Mike owns a small weekend place on the moon. #BloombergFacts #DemDebate" by responding, "I see everyone at campaign HQ is hard at work."