The 45-year-old former Democratic presidential candidate spoke about his potential candidacy with BuzzFeed News on Tuesday morning while aboard Amtrak’s Acela Express train.
“You know, we’re looking at it,” Yang said when he was asked if he would run for mayor of New York City.
“One of the things I’m most curious about is who are the other candidates in the race, and what the race would look like,” he said. “Because I tend to want to do something where I feel like I’m gonna have a big impact and add a lot of value, so if there’s someone who’s already running who would have a positive agenda that’s very aligned with mine — I’m not someone who is just driven by maximum political advantage. I wanna see how much value I can add.”
“I’m really excited to see how the voting unfolds in the Super Tuesday states today,” he said.
“Today the biggest question is how much of the support that was going to Pete [Buttigieg] and Amy [Klobuchar] and Tom [Steyer] heads to Joe or Bernie [Sanders] or Elizabeth Warren or [Michael] Bloomberg. And then the big question is what decision Bloomberg makes depending on how today goes.”
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While some political observers were okay with Yang running for mayor, political strategist Bradley Tusk, who served as Bloomberg’s former mayoral campaign manager, suggested he shouldn’t view this as a stepping stone for higher office.
“He should do it if city operations is his passion. Otherwise, as Mayor de Blasio has seen, it’s a very rough job,” he said, New York Post reported.
Meanwhile, Fordham University Political Science Professor Catherine Greer was blunt on her take on the Yang mayoral candidacy and said she is not interested.
“All politics is local, and Yang has not demonstrated an understanding or investment in local issues concerning the five boroughs. We have far too many pressing nuanced issues in our city for a hedge fund manager to swoop in and diagnose our problems,” Greer said.
“I would suggest using money to invest in the people of our city, not vanity projects running for office. There are already several qualified New Yorkers vying for the job. Carpet baggers need not apply.”
Asked if he was facing pressure to back Joe Biden, Yang said, “Joe’s team reached out to me yesterday. At this point, I consider Joe a friend.”
Even though Biden’s team has already reached out to the former candidate, Yang admitted that he is not yet ready to endorse the former vice president as a candidate.
“I don’t have any plans to endorse as of this moment, but something could change at any moment, my phone could ring at any moment,” Yang said.
Yang has also been keeping in touch with his former competitors in the presidential race, recently reaching out to Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. However, so far, only Buttigieg responded to his message.
“I just told Pete that he should be really proud of the race he ran,” he said, adding that the candidate is likely about to go before cameras with Biden. “It’s hard when you end, you know, it’s a lot of mixed emotions, so I wanted to try and raise the positive set of responses. It’s very disappointing for a lot of people when you decide to suspend.”
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