Politico sparks backlash for proclaiming Andrew Yang the 'most prominent' Asian-American politician

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New York City mayoral contender Andrew Yang is a well-known Asian politician, but Politico caused outrage Tuesday when it forgot about Vice President Kamala Harris and declared Yang “the most prominent Asian American political figure in the country.”

“Andrew Yang is the most prominent Asian American political figure in the country,” the editors wrote in a now deleted tweet, before linking to a glowing profile of Yang entitled, “Andrew Yang’s Asian American Superpower.”

The story and tweet were updated to declare him “one of the most prominent” Asian-American figures.

The Politico Magazine feature, written by Tina Nguyen, followed Yang to one of his favorite restaurants in Manhattan as the two discussed Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) identity. Attacks on the AAPI community in New York City have reportedly increased substantially since 2019.

But while reading about Nguyen’s appointment with Yang, social media users wondered how Politico could forget about Sens. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii and Tammy Duckworth, D., Ill., as well as Harris, who mother was Indian.

Critics also reminded Politico about California Reps. Ted Lieu and Judy Chu, leading to accusations it had “erased” their experiences.

“Refried trash,” the Nation’s Elie Mystal called the Politico piece.

“What fresh hell is this?” another asked, with many others noting that the above legislators would like to have a word.


Yang rose to prominence during his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. While he has never held office, he outlasted several established lawmakers in the crowded primary, standing out with his affability and push a universal basic income. He dropped out after poor showings in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.


The race boosted his name recognition and he is the current frontrunner in the New York City Democratic mayoral primary. The winner will be well-positioned to succeed current Mayor Bill de Blasio, given the city’s strong Democratic lean.

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