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Andrew Yang snags Bernie Sanders' strategists for $1 million TV ad buy

Andrew Yang is starting to look like a politician.

Well, at least that's the image his new TV ad gives off. The tech entrepreneur and 2020 Democrat has snagged two strategists from Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) 2016 campaign to create a fairly mainstream ad, unveiled Thursday and scheduled for a $1 million buy across Iowa, The Daily Beast reports.

Yang's ad starts out in the usual way: It pans over American scenery and a voiceover describes Yang as a "son of immigrants who came here seeking the American dream." The narrator then spells out Yang's resume, including a semi-endorsement from former President Barack Obama, and describes how Yang will broadly "confront big polluters" and enact Medicare-for-all. There is mention of Yang's so-called "freedom dividend," his plan to give every American $1,000 a month, but it's labeled as the more conventional "universal basic income" and only gets a few moments onscreen.

While Yang's ad says he's "not a politician," it was created by some presidential campaign veterans. Yang recently hired the firm Devine, Mulvey, and Longabaugh for media consulting — a group "best known for its work on Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign," The Daily Beast writes. The group tried to work for Sanders again this time around, but the 2020 campaign opted to build ads in-house, per a Sanders spokesperson.

Yang has meanwhile unexpectedly thrived in the 2020 campaign, locking up polling numbers higher than most senators and every congressmember in (or formerly in) the race.