Andrew Yang – SECOND moves after suspending his campaign
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When Andrew suspended his campaign on February 11, 2020, when it became clear he did not have a clear path to the presidency, the question for many in the Yang Gang was: what comes next?
DECISIONS BASED ON THREE KEY FACTORS
The mission has not changed since suspending the campaign. They are:
- (1) How to best get Donald Trump out of the White House
- (2) How to get universal basic income (UBI) or the Freedom Dividend to be part of the American agenda
- (3) Move the country forward to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.
INITIAL FIRST STEPS
This is how I believe Andrew is looking at the situation. Any ideas that can hit (1) and (2). would be ideal for the short-term. Sooner than later would be even better. Now that it’s only been 12 days since he suspended the campaign, it’s increasingly clear what the next steps are.
- The campaign as it was is effectively over. It was an exhilarating experience for many of us. Imagine what it is like for Andrew’s campaign team and Andrew as they wind down operations. For coping strategies, check out this podcast with Yin for Yang who had me speak about concrete actions we can all take as we look to Andrew and his team for next steps.
- Create a platform that allows both (1) and (2). In what appeared initially to be a surprise move, was a brilliant pivot in retrospect as Andrew joined CNN as a political commentator and continues to bring his usual optimism, clarity, and candor to CNN with pre and post Democratic Debate analysis. Great to hear his laugh and honest insights. Its like watching quarterback Tony Romo calling out football games. Once you see it, you appreciate a entirely different level of insights and you never want to go back.
- Creation of a podcast. To keep his vision and perspective early and often, controlling the narrative will be key. Main steam media will use Andrew when it helps then with their goals. Andrew and the Yang Gang has transcended just this election cycle. The support of Andrew and his ideas from Dave Chapelle, Elon Musk, Donald Glover and many others show the cultural phenomenon he and the Yang Gang has become. Critical to keep this moving forward. Will there be a new merchandise store? My guess – yes. Once you become part of the Yang Gang tribe, it will be important to signal to others what you stand for and believe in. Dare I say it? Might this be like rooting for your sports teams?
Andrew will continue to reveal his next steps in early March. Using the framework above and finding activities that will have a material impact the move the needle, I believe it will be to:
- Support the eventual nominee and help unite the Democratic party in the upcoming presidential election if asked. The eventual nominee can undoubtedly count on Andrew, he did support Senator Sanders in 2016), as the goal of the current mission is (1) and create and hold a new coalition for a plurality of voters so (1) is not in doubt.
- Support any down ticket candidate with fundraising and personal appearances if Andrew believes his support would be helpful to help get (1). and (2). accomplished.
- Support any legislation with fundraising, personal appearances and advocacy if he believes his support would be helpful.
- Support current groups or create new organizations that support any of the above goals where he believes his involvement will make a material impact.
- Write another book , documentary or film on what it was like to be the virtual unknown running for President of the United States with multiple points of view. Proceeds from those projects can fuel any of the above projects. Book publishers or producers should be pitching Andrew right now. He and the Yang Gang are a cultural phenomenon. Like any startup that may get acquired or interest from larger companies, they see an untapped market that is hungry for more content and more Andrew Yang. He’ll use that to help further his goals.
- Consider running for Mayor of New York when the time is right. Andrew has said publicly we would not rule out an executive position like that. Though it does not help with 1. it does help with 2. and 3. as the challenge to becoming the Democratic nominee this past cycle was lack of familiarity with Andrew. Being the Mayor of New Year effectively provides a natural platform where the media will need to cover what he says and does.
YANG CAMPAIGN FOR 2024?
I think it’s too early to say for a number of reasons. Four years is both a short time and a long time from now. Different challenges and options will appear as it approaches. Things to consider.
- Who is in the White House? If a Democrat, unlikely Andrew would come out and challenge an incumbent Democratic president. If Republican President Trump wins, then it is certainly possible.
- Who would run in the next set of Democrats? Will be a different group of people, Stacy Abrams and could be celebrities like the Rock who may have sat out this election cycle for a variety of reasons. Also the dynamics of the campaigns would be different. Seeing what Andrew and Zach were able to pull off means, this playbook is an option for anyone. People are likely to be thinking about 2024 now.
- Where is the country? If the mission is complete, that poses a different set of choices for Andrew. Though I doubt the mission will be complete by 2024.
- Where is Andrew? I mean both physically and emotionally? Four years ago, 2016, he wasn’t thinking about running for president. He was trying to understand why a large percentage of our country voted for the narcissistic realty TV star. His conclusion of running for president was a consequence of an evolution and journey. Whatever happens in his professional and personal life in the next four years could also dictate this answer. Note how Joe Biden choose not to run for president in 2016 due to his son having had passed away around the time the decision had to be made.
The MAGIC of the YANG 2020 Campaign
The Andrew Yang 2020 campaign was the ultimate magical Cinderella story that we love to see in movies, sports, and even real life. The underdog against all odds with resourcefulness, persistence, and a few lucky breaks pulls it off. These can be cultural phenomenon and for a moment in time capture the imagination of what’s possible. Think Linsanity.
But it didn’t quite happen this time.
Perhaps next time.
Regardless of what happens, cherish the time we had with the Yang Gang and the 2020 Andrew Yang campaign. Over time, reflect on how this experience has made and shaped you as different person, the connections you made with others, and knowledge you have now and you did not have previously to learning about Andrew Yang and the Yang Gang.
The next time, it will be the same and it will be different.
As Andrew has said, there is nothing quite like the first time.
PS – Andrew Yang, Yang Gang, and the movement will be back both short-term and long-term in a different form. Zach is on the case. Thank you Zach!