Mayor Bloomberg's trip to Mexico last week was not only a fact finding mission for the city's proposed conditional cash program - it was also a chance for him to show off his Spanish skills! Mayor Mike (Miguel?) gave a 10 minute speech in Spanish, impressing a Univision reporter who said, "We’ve been covering you for many years now and it’s pretty good," though some others, according to the NY Times, "privately tittered at Mr. Bloomberg's accent."
Still, the Mayor's accomplishment is nothing to sneeze at, given how badly his Spanish was previously received. The AP's Sara Kugler writes, "But many who heard him speak Spanish during his first term, and even at the start of his second, said it seemed impossible that he was studying every day, given his poor grammar, thick accent and apparent lack of improvement for many years." Naturally, this raises the suspicion of other politicians who suspect the Mayor might be trying to figure out ways to sway the important Hispanic vote, but given that the city has such a big Spanish-speaking population, we give the Mayor some credit for making the effort.
Of course, Mayor Bloomberg has the resources to hire a private tutor, who sometimes accompanies him during his daily schedule. His staff also says he listens to Spanish lessons on his iPod. We bet Bloomberg is hoping for a Latin Grammys do-over.