Yang is one of 12 Democrats who will be on the ballot in what many observers expect will amount to a de facto mayoral election this summer. Despite the crowded field, the tech entrepreneur and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate has maintained a steady lead in the polls.
However, it appears people other than Yang’s primary opponents are attempting to prevent him from succeeding term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio.
On Monday’s “Morning Joe,” MSNBC host Joe Scarborough called the NYC mayoral race the “most important” in 50 years and took a shot at the leading contender.
“You and I can do a better job at running New York City than Andrew Yang, no offense to Andrew Yang,” Scarborough told colleague Donny Deutsch. “But this is a problem, isn’t it? What’s going on in that race?”
Deutsch went even further, declaring that NYC is “doomed” if it goes “too far left” and describing Yang as an “extreme” candidate.
Scarborough continued: “You want that mayor to be competent … and to have a political neophyte who ran for president … it’s one thing running for president and putting some quirky ideas out there and getting some media attention, but man, when you’re running New York City … I’m talking competence.”
New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg argued Monday that Yang is the beneficiary of sexism. In a piece headlined, “There Could Never Be a Female Andrew Yang,” Goldberg argued that “[n]o woman with his résumé would have a chance of becoming New York’s mayor” and noted that female candidates with public service experience lag well behind the relative political neophyte.
“Male candidates can embody possibility and run as repositories for people’s diffuse hopes. Women usually have to pay their dues. It creates a double bind,” Goldberg explained. “There’s never been a female mayor of New York City, but that doesn’t make it any easier for a woman to be the candidate of change.”
On Saturday, the New York Daily News ran an op-ed with the headline, “Is Andrew Yang yanking our chain? Beware the lure of this mayoral candidate,” comparing his political rise to that of former President Donald Trump.
“Before running for mayor, Andrew Yang never bothered voting in a mayoral election. He left Manhattan to spend the worst of the pandemic in his second home in the Hudson Valley,” columnist Harry Siegel wrote. “And the signature idea of his national campaign — giving every adult a universal basic income — isn’t relevant here, while his claim that he can deliver for New Yorkers because Joe and Kamala are his pals now is simply ridiculous.”
“Andrew Yang makes Anthony Weiner — who never accomplished anything in public office except winning elections, going on TV and flapping his lips — seem like a heavy hitter,” Siegel quipped.
The Daily News columnist went on to call Yang “Mayor Goofus” whose “main qualification is that he’s on TV a lot now because he was on TV a lot last year.”
Meanwhile, Politico hyped criticism Yang received over his response to a questioner in a viral video who asked the mayoral candidate what he thought about men wearing Timberland boots while “f—ing b—-es.”
“I think it’s purely up to your partner, right?” Yang responded.
“Do you choke b—-es, Andrew Yang?” the man asked, causing Yang to chuckle and playfully distance himself.
Politico followed up that report with another one on Sunday titled “Cuomo accuser criticizes Yang’s reaction to misogynistic question”. That story focused on criticism Yang received from Andrew Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett, who wrote a blistering Daily News op-ed slamming the candidate’s “disqualifying insensitivity.”
“New York City should not be led by a person who laughs at jokes that degrade and threaten women, or a man who puts his own momentary comfort and that of a man he’s talking to above the safety and respect of half of his constituents,” Bennett wrote. “New York City should certainly avoid a man whose cowardice and misogyny shine so brightly.”
Yang stayed in the race for the Democratic nomination through the Iowa caucuses (notably outlasting now-VP Kamala Harris’ abortive White House campaign), but even then he seemed caught in the media crosshairs.
TV networks often snubbed Yang from polling graphics in favor of his Democratic rivals, some of whom were polling lower than he was. Yang’s campaign even clashed with MSNBC over the overwhelming number of errors.
Yang also was frequently given the least amount of speaking time at the Democratic primary debates, often waiting to be asked a question for lengthy periods of time.