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The Biden Veepstakes: Is Stacey Abrams Really a Contender?

Good Lord, I hope not.

Since Joe Biden assured his voters that he would pick a female running mate, one thing has become certain: Stacey Abrams is out there grandstanding like only she can.

Georgia’s governor losing 2018 gubernatorial candidate has made the rounds on talk shows sharing her opinions on plenty of issues and making sure everybody knows that she’s interested in the position she turned up her nose at a few months ago: playing second fiddle to Joe Biden.

No doubt she’s also talking to anyone who will listen about the imaginary “voter suppression that supposedly kept her out of the governor’s mansion.

The genuine question floating around Abrams is whether she’s really a contender for the Biden running mate job. (My answer: Good Lord, I hope not.)

If a New York Post article is any indication, the Biden campaign isn’t giving Abrams much of a shot. The Post recounts Abrams’ shameless attempts to keep her name in the forefront of the vice presidential conversation:

While campaigning for vice president traditionally requires a delicate dance of private lobbying and public demurring, Abrams has flipped the script — openly campaigning for the position. In an April 22 appearance on “The View” Abrams said she has “concerns” about Biden “not picking a woman of color.”

In an interview with Elle Magazine a week earlier, Abrams gushed that she “would be an excellent running mate” and lauded her “25 years in independent study of foreign policy.”

Independent study of foreign policy? I’ve studied a lot of history over the years, but that doesn’t qualify me to vice chair of the history department at the University of Georgia.

The Post points out that insiders in the campaign see her more for what she has lost than what she has won and doesn’t think much of her in general:

But she has no previous national experience, and is mostly remembered for narrowly losing a race for governor of Georgia in 2018.

“No one takes Stacey seriously. And her public campaigning for the job seems more like a hostage negotiation than an actual attempt to get the job,” a Biden insider told The Post. “Biden is an old school guy and will always be. Picking Stacey would be like picking [Sarah] Palin. He doesn’t need to throw a Hail Mary. He wants a good governing partner.”

Another factor that the Post notes is that Abrams has a book to hawk, and she seems more interested in plugging her latest (non-fiction) book than sounding like a qualified candidate for veep:

Internally, her star has fallen with the onset of the coronavirus as concerns grow about her preparedness.

“Stacey isn’t ready on day one. Even she knows that and it’s why she’s engaging in this dance. She might get perfunctorily better, but she’s not a serious pick for him. And her campaign is viewed as much as promotion for her book as it is for being chosen as Biden’s VP,” the insider continued, referring to Abrams’ forthcoming book “Our Time Is Now.”

Others think Abrams’ authenticity is refreshing. But, unlike speakers who tell it like it is, Abrams seems content to tell it like she thinks it ought to be, and that’s not a good look for a long-term political career.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure Stacey Abrams is a nice person, and she might be fun and engaging to hang out with if you’re talking about anything but politics, but that doesn’t make her qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Add to the mix that an overwhelming majority of Democrats in a recent CBS News poll – 71% to be exact – think Elizabeth Warren is the best woman for the job of Biden’s vice president. (Again, I can’t understand why.) Abrams only manages to catch the eye of 14% of those surveyed.

The truth of the matter is that Abrams isn’t qualified to be vice president, and she won’t be anytime soon. The Spectator‘s Cockburn made that point crystal clear in March:

Abrams’s sole political experience consists of serving for 10 years in the Georgia General Assembly, during which her biggest win was stopping a piece of legislation that would have unintentionally led to a net tax increase on most Georgians. She has never won national political office and doesn’t have any executive experience. Despite all the hype around her, she lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election to Brian Kemp. 

Cockburn suspects Abrams can’t be very popular outside of the elite media bubble given her accolades consist only of being the first black woman to run for the governor’s seat in Georgia, which, again, she did not win. She then insisted that she lost that race due to voter suppression. Her refusal to concede to her opponent seemed like sour grapes to most rational viewers, especially since the supposedly suppressed votes may not even have been enough to have won the race. But the Democratic media lapped up her complaints nonetheless. Soon, she was delivering the Democratic rebuttal to the State of the Union, launching a nonprofit dedicated to fighting voter suppression, and dreaming of becoming president. Failing upwards, indeed. 

At the end of the day, Stacey Abrams doesn’t look like much of a contender for the Democrats’ veepstakes, which is a relief to plenty of people all across the country, especially here in Georgia.


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