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Andrew Yang was some amusing comic relief during the 2020 Democratic primary season. The whole “Math” thing was an entertaining diversion, and his Yang Gang followers seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot more than the supporters of the more serious candidates did. Finally, I had a great time explaining at every opportunity that Yang was trying to buy my vote for a thousand bucks. They were like the Ron Paul Revolution with a sense of humor—or, at the very least, a sense of proportion.
That has turned out to be the limit of my tolerance for Andrew Yang. At this point, he’s just slinging his money around and being a nuisance. He launched his campaign for mayor of New York with a brass-band burst of publicity, only to flame out because people in New York found the whole idea of him as mayor to be ridiculous. From the New York Times:
In interviews with campaign staff members and surrogates, supporters and opponents, the diagnoses of Mr. Yang’s electoral maladies span the spectrum: He fumbled once it became clear that celebrity alone could not carry the day; he did not try hard enough to reach Black and Latino voters. His campaign was too media-driven, yet he never fully relinquished his Twitter account to more responsible hands. He failed to master the city’s intricacies and did not turn on-the-ground energy into votes.
That can be something of a problem. Yang also played the dilettante card badly.
Mr. Yang, 46, also withstood ridicule after telling The New York Times how he spent much of the pandemic in his second home upstate. He noted the challenges of fulfilling his obligations as a CNN commentator from his apartment in Manhattan, explaining, “Can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” Many New Yorkers had no trouble imagining that at all.
Undaunted by this dip into the cold waters of the Great Lake of Fail, Yang has found another bottomless money pit into which he can toss more of his money. He’s also got a book coming out. These two events are not coincidental. From Politico:
It’s not clear what the name of Yang’s third party will be or how he plans to deploy it in 2022 or 2024. Yang and his team did not respond to requests for comment. But the book’s publisher, Crown, did give some clues about the type of platform Yang may pursue. It writes that the book is an indictment of America’s “era of institutional failure” and will introduce “us to the various ‘priests of the decline’ of America, including politicians whose incentives have become divorced from the people they supposedly serve.”
And, this being Tiger Beat on the Potomac, there’s some reality-impaired fluffing.
A former businessperson, Yang surprised many in the political world with creative, outsider campaigns for both president and mayor. His presidential campaign outlasted and raised more money than those of much more seasoned politicians. But, ultimately, that did not translate to votes as he dropped out shortly after the New Hampshire primary and faded in the polls as the mayoral race came to a close.
“Not translating into votes” is considered by most serious political scholars to be something of a detriment to political success. What we have here is another wealthy interloper who found that he had a taste for cheap political celebrity. This is not the time for people like him. Go away, Andrew. Your money’s no good here.
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