The speaker schedule for the Democratic National Convention was rolled out on Tuesday, and while dozens of prominent Democrats got a speaking slot, several big names were conspicuously not included.
Among those left out is Andrew Yang, the businessman who surprised pundits with an unexpectedly buzzy presidential run. Yang dropped out in February, but his signature policy proposal — the $1,000 universal basic income “Freedom Dividend” — picked up some steam among Democratic voters. Yang said he “expected to speak” at the DNC.
I’ve got to be honest I kind of expected to speak.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) August 11, 2020
Democratic officials left several other former 2020 candidates out of the mix as well, like Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, two billionaires whose well-funded runs lasted until after the South Carolina primary when former Vice President Joe Biden began to form a lead. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and former Housing Secretary Julián Castro weren’t given speaking slots either.
Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), also former candidates, will be speaking at the DNC, which begins next week and will consist largely of virtual appearances and pre-recorded videos. But neither Booker nor Harris managed to secure enough votes for a single delegate before they dropped out (in part because they dropped out early). Bloomberg and Gabbard, on the other hand, did pick up delegates in early states.
Of course, the DNC speakers lineup isn’t determined by number of delegates or overall popularity. But after Yang endorsed Biden despite taking “inspiration” from Sanders, it’s not surprising he’s feeling snubbed. Summer Meza