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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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When Andrew Yang began his quest for the presidency, he appeared to be just a Silicon Valley millionaire who seemed more interested in boosting his ideas for universal basic income (UBI) with a steadfast online following known as the “Yang Gang,” than with actually running for president.
Among the crowded field which began the race for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year, Yang seemed most aligned with author and self-help guru Marianne Williamson, who, too, was making what surely seemed a quixotic run for the White House.
But where Williamson quickly failed to requalify for subsequent Democratic presidential debates, Yang has kept going.
Indeed, Yang has continued to qualify for Democratic debates even while other, more traditional candidates like Julian Castro, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Rep Tulsi Gabbard have faltered.
Yang now is expected to qualify in coming weeks for the next debate, to be held in Los Angeles.
Not only that, but Yang reported having raised $10 million in the third fundraising quarter, more than, among others, Sen. Kamala Harris of California and former candidate Beto O’Rourke.
Against all odds, Yang remains part of the presidential conversation.
So much so that he’s begun to draw comparisons to Donald Trump at this point in the previous presidential election.
The comparisons, however, are not based on temperament, policy, racism, harsh rhetoric or the like.
Rather, simply that at first no one took Trump seriously either, and like Yang today, Trump simply proved the doubters wrong day after day, week after week and month after month, until Trump ultimately found himself sitting in the Oval Office.
Could Yang be on the same trajectory today?
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