Andrew Yang, who is following up his failed presidential bid with a better-performing run to be mayor of NYC, is basically the Teflon Candidate. How else to explain his shockingly high polling numbers for a campaign that has played out like a lazy Saturday Night Live sketch?
First there was the reveal that he spent the COVID shutdown outside of the city, because his apartment was just too small for his family. Yet admitting to fleeing NYC—and acting as if his family faced unique challenges—while so many of its citizens had nowhere else to go was not enough to turn off citizens.
Then, shortly after the recurring delight in proclaiming New York bodegas couldn’t exist anywhere else consumed Twitter, Yang jumped on that SEO-friendly clickbait! The candidate tweeted a video of himself walking through the aisles of what looks to be a supermarket, proclaiming that he loved bodegas too, fellow New Yorkers! He may be slightly fuzzy on what they are, but if the voters love ’em, Yang loves ’em! Called out again for not understanding the assignment, he powered on and through.
Hell, Yang even posted on Twitter for national pet day this… we’ll call it tone deaf tweet:
— Andrew Yang🧢🗽🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) April 11, 2021
To hashtag those photos of Grizz with #dogsforyang! Has anyone asked Grizz which candidate gets his vote?
And then Yang virtually met with the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City to seek its endorsement. While speaking to them, he focused on bringing back the Pride parade; his excitement to go to his first gay bar (the Cubbyhole); and his pride in having two gay staffers (congrats?).
According to the New York Times, Yang’s remarks to the LGBTQ+ political organization included these jaw droppers:
“I genuinely do love you and your community. You’re so human and beautiful. You make New York City special. I have no idea how we ever lose to the Republicans given that you all are frankly in, like, leadership roles all over the Democratic Party….
“We have, like, this incredible secret weapon. It’s not even secret. It’s like, we should win everything because we have you all.”
After four years of the Republican White House systematically stripping rights away from the LGBTQ+ community, Yang’s gut told him to… focus on nightlife and let the Stonewall Democrats know he thinks of them as “human.”
And yet, he continues to poll well! Maybe we have his two savvy gay campaign managers to thank (or blame) for that. Maybe these “charming” gaffes are intended to disguise his wildly unresearched ideas, from putting a casino on Governors Island to generate income (Governors Island is prohibited from having a casino, and when was the last time a casino opened rather than folded?) to his initial desire to take over the MTA from the state. He quickly switched course on that one, presumably because he finally read what it would entail.
As one of his campaign managers put it: “Andrew believes in constantly discussing new and creative ideas to help rebuild our city — but he also believes that any major development project must be community led.”
More likely, Yang remains the frontrunner because he comes across as one of those effusive dude bros who say all the wrong things but so good-naturedly you’d feel like a heel for hating such a well-intentioned puppy dog. “He means well!” should not be applied so frequently to a politician!
But this is a race to run New York City and tangle with Albany—not a contest to be America’s Next Top NYC Spokesperson. Besides… remember what Yang did to his own puppy. Hope you found a forever home, Grizz!