Presidential candidate Andrew Yang (D) will reportedly turn himself into a “lifelike 3-D hologram” and deploy the hologram to battleground states so he can be in “multiple places at once” on the 2020 campaign trail.
TMZ on Wednesday obtained a video of Yang’s hologram performing “America’s Most Wanted” with a Tupac hologram. Yang said he had to give the hologram “a whirl, so that’s how this duet took place.”
“I was doing a demo of what a hologram would consist of in order to send a hologram of me to campaign in Iowa and other battleground states so I can be in two places or three places… at once,” Yang said, adding that Tupac’s hologram would not be his running mate even though the late “All Eyez on Me” and “Me Against the World” rapper is a “hero” of his.
The Democrat who is campaigning on giving a $1,000/month “freedom dividend” to all adult U.S. citizens with no questions asked has received enough individual contributions ($1.7 million in the last quarter) to qualify for the first two presidential debates. He is also attracting an eclectic group of supporters from the populist left and right because of the way he is addressing the impact automation will have on America’s economy.
According to Iowa’s Carroll Times Herald, Yang “plans to make appearances as a lifelike hologram, with a 3-D dynamic image of a himself beamed to, say, the flatbed of a truck for some campaign events and gatherings.” Yang reportedly is “working with a hologram company and could debut the technology — possibly in Iowa — as early as June.”
“We are exploring rolling a truck out that would enable someone to see a hologram of me that is three-dimensional give my stump speech,” Yang told the outlet. “And, also, if I were in a studio, which we could set up very easily, I could beam in and take questions live.”
The Carroll Times described Yang as “one of the more idea-rich presidential candidates of the modern era” who is planning to “marry science fiction with prairie populism in an innovative campaign strategy that will allow him to stretch the boundaries of time and place to go where no West Wing aspirant has gone before.”
“I thought it would be a fun way to be in multiple places at once, and also very much tied into the message of the campaign around the fact that it is 2019, and soon it will be 2020, and things are changing, and we can’t just keep doing the same things over and over again and expect it to achieve the results we need,” Yang told the outlet.
Yang said he will aggressively campaign in Iowa and is also having conversations with some pop-culture figures to turn themselves into 3-D holograms and appear with him on the campaign trail.
“If you’re going to go all the trouble of having a hologram set up, you might as well have some other people appear and make it more fun and entertaining for people than just coming to see a hologram of me speaking,” Yang reportedly continued. “We would make it fun for people.”
Appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Yang called out Democrats and elites for not caring about economic problems that are impacting working-class whites and has argued that while other candidates talk about automation, his “freedom dividend”offers a tangible solution to the disruption automation will cause across various industries.
Yang spoke about the “five million Americans who work at truck stops, motels, diners, retail establishments—all of the places where the truckers stop every day just to get out and eat a meal and… live a life.”
“If you imagine those communities when the trucks don’t stop, there’s going to be a drying up economic vitality on a level that is unprecedented in many of those communities,” Yang told Rogan.
Yang recalled that a truck driver in Iowa, Dennis, recently told him while he was riding in his truck that he didn’t think “Democrats care about people” like him.
“I can understand why he feels that way, but that’s incredibly destructive because there’s a point at which the Democratic Party used to be heavily aligned with working-class Americans,” Yang said. “And there’s now some kind of pathology that if the person who’s suffering is a white man of a certain background then the suffering… is somehow diminished, like it doesn’t count as much if they’re a tricker, and that’s something that I find really destructive.”
The Washington Post recently noted that “at this stage in the Democratic contest, Yang has become a modern campaign archetype: the candidate for people who hate politicians and who don’t trust news unless they get it online. The voters showing up to his events say they discovered him not through mainstream media but through podcasters” such as Rogan. The Post added that many of these disaffected voters “say they had not bothered to vote in recent elections.”
“Initially I was like, oh, this guy’s garbage, because ‘blue’ people are garbage to me,” Fred Raimey, a 42-year-old trucker who drove from Arizona to New Hampshire to hear Yang speak, told the Post. “But I hear him and I think: Oh, that makes sense. And that makes sense. And that makes sense, too. He’s not anti-capitalist, saying the whole world is against you.”
Yang has also argued that outdated metrics like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) do not really reflect how the country’s is really doing and has promised in multiple interviews to “walk across the street to the Bureau of Labor Statistics” and just get rid of it.
“When people start talking about the happy talk about record GDP, well, what good is record GDP?” he recently asked. “People are literally dying younger and dying of despair in many cases. They talk about the unemployment rate being at a record low, or they say it’s near record lows. But what that masks is that the labor force participation rate is at 63.2 percent in the United States right now, which is the same levels as Ecuador and Costa Rica.”
Yang has to date borrowed former Fresno State head football coach Pat Hill’s “anyone, anytime, anywhere” motto for his media strategy. But beginning with Sunday’s CNN’s town hall with Ana Cabrera, Yang will have brighter klieg lights on him and rookie mistakes will only get magnified.
His penchant for offering opinions on random and unnecessary topics—like circumcision—shows that he may not understand the late Roger Ailes’ “orchestra pit theory” of political coverage and how wacky first impressions are tough to overcome for anyone trying to become a serious, top-tier contender.
His recent non-nuanced support for Israel at a New Hampshire town hall event may not sit well with left-wing primary voters and activists who are becoming more stridently anti-Israel.
Still, Yang has been arguing on the stump that he is the Democrat with the best chance of winning over swing voters who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.
“Donald Trump’s our president today in part because he got some of the problems right, but his solutions are the opposite of what we need,” Yang recently said in New Hampshire, adding that thousands of Republicans and independents have said they have switched their party affiliations to vote for him in 2020 because he is “what they were hoping for when they voted for Donald Trump.”