For someone who just quit the first political race of his life, onetime Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang may not be ready to quit politics entirely. According to multiple sources who spoke with The Wall Street Journal this week, Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign has reached out to Yang to gauge whether the former tech entrepreneur and corporate lawyer would be interested in throwing his support (and, presumably more importantly, that of his online followers of the #YangGang) behind the former New York City mayor. Aides for Bloomberg have even reportedly floated the idea of Yang joining Bloomberg on the campaign ticket as a vice presidential candidate.
In a lot of ways, this seemingly incongruous pairing of an elderly oligarch and a relatively youthful tech entrepreneur makes a fair bit of sense: With his focus on automation and AI, Yang's campaign quickly sought to establish him as a sort of benevolent technocrat able to apply his 21st-century business acumen to the political system. Bloomberg, meanwhile, has in many ways staked out a similar pitch to voters, marketing himself as "the boss" who gets things done. It makes sense then that Bloomberg, who made his unfathomable fortune in no small part thanks to his eponymous "terminals," (the sort of thing Yang himself might have invested in had he been in a position to do so at the time) would be attracted to both Yang's resume and his fervent fan base.
Which isn't to say a Bloomberg/Yang ticket is a sure thing. A senior aide to the former mayor denied to the Journal that Bloomberg was considering Yang as a running mate, while a source close to Yang said the former candidate hadn't committed to anything — in part to keep his future political options as open as possible.
Yang — who had previously, if gently, criticized Bloomberg's entry into the Democratic race — has been much more complimentary toward Bloomberg of late, praising aspects of the former mayor's performance during this week's South Carolina debate.
Since dropping out of the presidential primary race earlier this month, Yang has filled his time serving as a political commentator for CNN and teasing an early-March announcement about his next plans, writing on Twitter: "The #yanggang has a vision that will continue to grow in the days to come — but as usual it will take a lot of work."