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Thread: Andrew Yang

  1. #1

    Default Andrew Yang

    The 'tech dude' who built his reputation as one of the marginal non-politician candidates during the 2020 Democratic primaries decided to run for mayor of New York (to succeed Bill de Blasio after this year). He's enjoyed a lead in polling from the beginning but now, less than 7 weeks from the Democratic primary election, it could be said he's running neck-and-neck with Eric Adams, a conservative Democrat and a veteran of the state party.

    (There is a debate today at 7 PM EDT between the 8 leading Democratic candidates, if anyone cares.)


    Yang projects a dorky and affable persona, but this remarkable profile brings him across as something like a calculating anime character, and a politician who blends Bloomberg with de Blasio, for better or worse.

    From the moment Andrew Yang sat down in the back corner of a dark restaurant in the Bronx — brow knitted, wearing an overcoat and scarf that would stay on for the whole lunch — he was not the same cheerful New York City mayoral candidate of our popular conception, the one who cheeses for photos and tweets things like “It’s Friday!” when it’s Friday or shouts “Yankee Stadium!” while standing in front of Yankee Stadium. Politicians are always a little different behind the scenes, their ambition harder to conceal in close quarters, but the man sitting across from me was particularly unfamiliar. Since entering the race in January, Yang has pitched himself as the happy warrior for the Everyman, an energetic presence promising to lead New York out of its grim recent past. While other candidates have emphasized the city’s need for an experienced and empathic crisis manager, Yang has acted like a constant human joy machine.

    But today, he was serious, even a little crabby. Gone was the man who wants to bring TikTok Hype Houses to New York; he was replaced by a bristly high achiever, albeit one who has a habit of punctuating somber statements with outbursts of giggles. I asked him, Did other people ever note this difference?

    “I really appreciate the line of inquiry,” Yang said. (He actually seemed mildly offended by it.) “I think people underestimate what a disciplined operator [1] I am.”

    “Anyone who’s an operator sees me and this campaign and says, ‘Oh, I get it, Andrew Yang’s an operator,’ ” he continued. “And then if you put a businessperson next to me for ten minutes — or, I’m guessing, the vast majority of people who also are operators — they get it. Like, we speak the same language.”Yang, 46, seemed to be saying he wasn’t just the goofy, smart guy from the 2020 presidential-debate stage who wore a MATH pin that made some fellow Asian Americans cringe. Yang — he of Phillips Exeter, Brown, Columbia, white-shoe law, start-up wealth [2], godfatherdom to Teddy Roosevelt’s direct descendant — could hang with the city’s power brokers.

    He also appeared eager to reflect the value systems of those places of power: Yang, who calls himself the anti-poverty candidate based largely on his proposal for annual $2,000 direct payments to the poorest New Yorkers, said he envisioned himself spending his first six months in office luring back the city’s elite by calling the many Masters of the Universe who have recently decamped to Florida.

    “ ‘Like, what are the issues that drove you out? What were the decisions?’ And then be like, okay, here are, like, the things that drove people away. If we resolve them, can we get them back?” he had told me previously. “It’s a pretty tight community, so if the mayor is calling people asking these questions and trying to get them back, I think there are a lot of people who would be thrilled about it.”

    He slurped black spaghetti, continuing to sketch out his ambitions for the early days of his mayoralty. Aside from working the phones, his plans were vague. He was fuzzy about how exactly he would be able to wrest more control from Albany over the subways: “I haven’t had those conversations.” He said he thinks the MTA board should be altered to give the city more power, which sounds simple enough but, close up, is an incredibly complicated political proposition. One concrete move Yang knows he wants to make is to hire Kathryn Garcia [3], the former head of the Department of Sanitation and one of his rivals in the race. “What I appreciate about Kathryn is that she’s an operator,” he told me. He’s big on the idea that he would hire the right people to do the job, just like Michael Bloomberg did.

    Yang said he calls Garcia at least once a week to say, “Hey, Kathryn, we’re gonna need you.”
    (It’s true he calls a lot, according to her campaign. “Makes her crazy,” said Christine Quinn [4] of the implications that Garcia should be Yang’s No. 2. Quinn was the front-runner in the 2013 mayor’s race until Bill de Blasio overtook her in the final weeks.)

    [1] "Operator" usually has two usages. The first is similar to the sense of "fixer"; the second has been popularized post-War-on-Terror in reference to special operations forces (cf. commando).
    [2] Yang's net worth only starts at $1 million though, placing him in the petite bourgeoisie
    [3] Garcia is one of Yang's competitors in the primary, who received the New York Times' endorsement this week.
    [4] Former City Council speaker


    The profile leaves me with a higher regard for Yang's cunning, potentially intelligence, but less regard for his wisdom and values.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


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  2. #2
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    I dont have a horse in the NYC mayoral race, but I gotta say that profile is very interesting and while I dont watch enough anime to get the reference, I do kinda now see how he might be a blend of Bloomberg with de Blasio. Though I still think his UBI plan is trash.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    Judging by his recent comments on the situation in Gaza, Yang isn't too worried about the Lebanese vote in NYC...
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  4. #4
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Judging by his recent comments on the situation in Gaza, Yang isn't too worried about the Lebanese vote in NYC...
    Well considering that nearly 10% of New Yorkers are Jewish, I'd say it was a smart move.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    I'd say it was a smart move
    Then he should change his party status to Republican. That kind of BS is more suited to that ilk....
    High Plains Drifter

  6. #6

    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    My first choice in the race had a dubious proposal last night:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    End the practice of health inspections without warning of food service establishments, because they're too burdensome. Inspection should instead be scheduled, because restaurants have nothing to hide and no one really gets sick from food eaten out in New York anyway.


    But she's in single digits anyway.

    Yang is for the most part an uncomfortably-conservative candidate, an ideological centrist, so the fact that he and Adams (on the traditional conservative flank of the party) seem to have together at least half the first-order preferences of the base suggests a conservative mood in the electorate.

    I'd rather have him than Adams though, since Yang is less conservative, and his contradistinctive (to Adams) lack of attachment to the New York party infrastructure should make him easier to turf out for bad performance, in 2025, even as it promises to reduce his governing effectiveness.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Judging by his recent comments on the situation in Gaza, Yang isn't too worried about the Lebanese vote in NYC...
    I wouldn't say so. Yang has from time to time bragged about building support with Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, and overall the size of the Jewish voting bloc in New York is probably 10, 20, 30 times that of Lebanese New Yorkers. Not to mention that Lebanese-Americans will tend to be more indifferent about Palestinians given their ethnic makeup and domestic priorities. Yang knows how to pander, I think.

    For example, this quote from Yang:

    Yang makes a point of ignoring progressive social media, where he’s frequently derided as either a neoliberal menace or a clueless tourist. “One of the big numbers that informs me is that approximately 11 percent of New York City Democratic voters get their news from Twitter,” he said, referring to a figure from his campaign’s internal polling. “If you pay attention to social media you’re going to get a particular look at New Yorkers that is going to be representative of frankly a relatively small percentage of New York voters.”


    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    Well considering that nearly 10% of New Yorkers are Jewish, I'd say it was a smart move.
    Even more, and the center of gravity of Jewish New York today is Orthodox and/or post-Soviet (although, and I'm pretty ignorant of this doctrinal stuff, some subset of Hasidics "don't believe" in Israel).
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


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  7. #7
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    Andrew Yang tweet from 10 May:

    I'm standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists. The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere.
    Several things here:

    1) Andrew Yang is an incredibly ignorant individual, completely unaware of who the aggressor here is---not likely, IMO, but I know little of the man.

    2) Andrew Yang is behaving like a typical corporate politician in that he's willing to say anything that fits with which way the wind is blowing---more likely, IMO.

    I'm not a resident of NYC, so I couldn't care less about who becomes mayor. Having said that, if #2 above is the case, I would hate to see how he behaves as NYC Mayor if a large moneyed entity (be it government or corporation) that sets itself upon a weak minority within the city. Does he stand up for the "oppressed" or does he stand with the money?

    And he's now walking back his statement:

    https://www.politico.com/states/new-...-tweet-1381442

    I would not vote for him....
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 05-15-2021 at 03:29.
    High Plains Drifter

  8. #8
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    some subset of Hasidics "don't believe" in Israel).
    Contrary to public belief its a very tiny subset.

    I think Yang learned one of the lessons of 2020- twitter is not the electorate.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    At least Yang knows something about housing prices in NYC...which can't be said about Donovan and Mcguire:

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/arti...-question.html

    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 05-16-2021 at 17:21.
    High Plains Drifter

  10. #10
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    I know this thread is focused on Yang's campaign, but Dianne Morales' campaign seems to be kind of a trainwreck as a bunch of her staffers march on her offices after a unionization attempt that got squashed by her campaign. Yeesh.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    We'll see if the old adage that New York mayors "come from nowhere and go nowhere" holds up.

    The leading candidate is the conservative machine politician Adams, followed closely by Yang and Garcia, a seasoned bureaucrat, in a tie. Will be interesting to see how the polling has done modeling the ranked choice element, an unprecedented complication for most American polling.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


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  12. #12
    Member Member Xantan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Yang

    Speaking of this, John Oliver has covered him on the segment this week.


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