He had a good run for a guy with no name recognition and no immediately obvious qualifications for the job. He outlasted several Senators and Governors, some of whom started the race as party favorites. But in the end his campaign centered on Universal Basic Income couldn’t compete:
As a candidate, Yang drilled down on the dangers of automation to the U.S. economy, making appeals to workers who have lost jobs or felt left behind amid the rise of new technologies. Central to his policy platform, Yang pitched a universal basic income for all adults — a $1,000-a-month stipend he called the “freedom dividend” — as a key solution for many of the country’s most pressing problems…
By December, Yang was the only candidate of color to qualify for that month’s Democratic debate.
“It’s both an honor and disappointment to be the lone candidate of color on the stage tonight. The question is, why am I the lone candidate of color on this stage? Fewer than 5% of Americans donate to political campaigns,” he said, pivoting to his universal basic income proposal. “You know what you need to donate to political campaigns? Disposable income.”
The question now is whether Yang will choose to endorse one of his former rivals. He told the Post he’s not ready to do that yet but will consider it:
Yang said he had not decided whether to endorse another candidate, though campaigns have reached out.
“If I become persuaded that there’s a particular candidate that gives us a superior chance of beating Donald Trump, and I think it’s important to make that opinion known, then I would consider it for sure,” Yang said. He also said he would be open to becoming another candidate’s running mate or joining a presidential Cabinet.
But as Yang sees it, even as he steps back, he helped push his central issue forward:
He told CNN on Monday that the concept of a freedom dividend was “not going anywhere, and emphasized on Tuesday that he had forced a new idea into Democratic politics. He made that point with math.
“Now, 66 percent of Democrats support a universal basic income,” Yang said. “It’s got 72 percent of young people, aged 18 to 34.”
This does seem like an issue that Bernie Sanders would look at but it is not one of the positions he has endorsed so far.
Here’s Yang’s announcement speech. The moment where he actually says the words comes about midway.