Andrew Yang did not win Thursday night’s Democratic Primary debate, the second of two groupings of 2020 presidential candidates who took the stage on back-to-back nights in Miami.
The 44-year-old entrepreneur spoke for only two minutes and 56 seconds – by far the least of all the candidates on the stage. Despite being in the top 10 candidates by polling, his speaking time was nearly doubled by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, both polling at zero percent, and almost tripled by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), also a zero-percent-er. He blamed it on faulty microphone.
“There were also a few times, FYI, where I just started talking, being like, ‘Hey, I want to add something there,’ and my mic was not on,” he told supporters after the event.
The tie-less tech veteran was nowhere to be found when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) sparred with former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr., or when the entire field argued over the minutia of their respective healthcare plans.
Yang did, when prompted directly, give a succinct and articulate answer about his universal basic income (UBI) plan, which consists of giving all adult Americans $1000 per month.
But despite his troubles on stage, Yang has, well, memes.
The political outsider garnered a considerable groundswell of online supporters, who dubbed themselves the #YangGang, when he first announced his candidacy and UBI plan.
Yang memes abounded, filled with colorful anime girls and the infamous Pepe the Frog, which was the preferred symbol of President Donald J. Trump’s online supporters in the 2016 cycle. His online backers, using the #YangGang hashtag, joked about how they would spend their #YangBux – that is their $1000 per month – when Yang became president.
Yang might not have won the debate, but his gang of online trolls – and I use that term in the most respectful manner possible – made sure that he did not lose the high-profile DRUDGE Report poll.
As of Friday morning, Yang topped DRUDGE’s chart, with 28.43 percent of respondents – just over 18,000 voters – saying that he beat out all of the other candidates by a wide margin.
While Harris, a serious presidential contender, placed second with 17.3 percent of the votes, author and spiritual guide Marianne Williamson placed third with 12.8 percent.
The poll was clearly used by internet contrarians to bolster the two outsider candidates, neither of which are likely to be the Democratic Party’s nominee. The candidates might be far different than they were three years ago, but meme culture remains the same.
Follow Peter D’Abrosca on Twitter: @pdabrosca
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DESPERATION: Never Trumpers Float Romney/Bloomberg as ‘the Unity Ticket America Deserves’
How pathetic are these guys?
The “Never Trump” brain trust over at The Bulwark has unveiled their antidote to stop the President they hate so much in this year’s election: a “unity ticket” consisting of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) as a presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his running mate.
Author Neal Simon made the argument that this potential third-party ticket would appeal to independents in an op/ed published on Monday.
“Senator Romney’s entrance into the presidential race wouldn’t just give the vital center of the electorate a home—it would stand a chance to break a system that is stacked against independents and third party candidates,” Simon argued.
He compared Romney’s potential to that of French President Emmanuel Macron, the reviled ruler who has populist Yellow Vest protesters rioting against his unpopular style of governance every weekend.
“And as Emmanuel Macron showed in France, standing up a new party and winning a presidential election in one motion is not impossible,” Simon wrote.
Simon posited that by putting Bloomberg on his ticket as Vice President, Romney could essentially buy the election, which is what Bloomberg is basically trying to do right now with his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“A Romney-Bloomberg ticket would be a first in modern American politics: A bipartisan unity ticket running under the banner of an independent third party,” he wrote.
Simon’s premise is predicated off of an assumption that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will win the Democrat presidential nomination. He believes that populism taking over the Republican and Democrat parties would open the door for a centrist revolution that could be led by Romney and Bloomberg.
“It would give both disgruntled Republicans who feel their party has become lost in Trump’s personality cult and Democrats who feel their party is lurching too far left towards a socialist revolution a voice on the ballot that reflects a popular idea of how the country should be run,” he concluded.
Simon, who was a failed independent candidate in the state of Maryland for the U.S. Senate in 2018, recently published a book titled, “Contract to Unite America: Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic.” He is using the words of George Washington in his manifesto to defeat the new age of populist politics and return to the days of old.
“Capitalizing on personal insight derived from Simon’s political campaign along with extensive research, Contract to Unite America provides specific, practical solutions for an improved government and a better tomorrow,” Simon’s book description reads.
Unfortunately for Simon and the “Bulwark” neocons, the public has had enough of status quo politicians and does not want to return to the George W. Bush era. The dream ticket of Romney/Bloomberg is not likely to come to fruition.
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