In the third Democratic debate, for the first time, all 10 leading candidates in the 20-strong field will appear together on stage. But one candidate is apparently planning something to set himself apart from the field on Thursday night, during the debate to be held at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. That would be 44-year-old businessman Andrew Yang, who has suddenly risen from obscurity — with little political or government experience — to become one of those 10 top Democratic candidates, according to a message posted to Twitter by Daily Beast writer Sam Stein on Wednesday.
In said tweet, Stein claimed that Yang’s campaign manager — who is a 33-year-old former executive at the Swiss multinational investment bank UBS named Zach Graumann — had called him and revealed that, at Thursday’s debate, Yang will do “something no presidential candidate has ever done before in history.”
But Stein added, “He declined to go further than that.”
What exactly Yang has planned remains a mystery, at least until sometime between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. EDT on Thursday. He has already made one major proposal that no major presidential candidate has made. While Yang refers to the proposal as a “freedom dividend,” his plan to pay every American over 18 years old $1,000 per month, no strings attached, is better known as “Universal Basic Income.”
The proposal for the government to hand out free cash, according to data cited by CNBC, is supported in a Gallup poll by 48 percent of Americans — but is also opposed by 52 percent.
According to the CNBC report, only two other Democratic candidates have shown even lukewarm support for UBI. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders says he remains “sympathetic” to UBI proposals, and former Vice President Joe Biden has remarked that he would be open to UBI, but only as a “last resort.”
The son of Taiwanese immigrants and a resident of New York City — like his prospective Republican opponent, Donald Trump — Yang has also already made unusual and likely unprecedented proposals, according to an NBC News report. Such proposals include a $6 billion fund to prop up struggling shopping malls, and the creation of a new federal Department of the Attention Economy — one which would administer new rules for the use of smartphones and social media, including possible age restrictions on their use.
Because Yang has already made those proposals, none would qualify as “something no presidential candidate has ever done” at Thursday’s debate. So what will Yang do? Yang posted what may have been a clue on his own Twitter account, though it was likely a comment made in jest.
For those wondering I will be crowdsurfing in sandals at Thursday’s debate.— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) September 11, 2019
Whatever Yang does, he will need for it to create a significant polling boost for his candidacy. Most polls show Yang with between two and three precent support, while as The Inquisitr reported, Biden continues to hold a significant lead over both the Democratic field.