COMMENTARY: Should Stacey Abrams really run for President?

Stacey Abrams speaks after securing the Democratic Party nomination for Governor in Atlanta on May 22, 2018. (Photo by: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)
Stacey Abrams speaks after securing the Democratic Party nomination for Governor in Atlanta on May 22, 2018. (Photo by: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

By The Atlanta Voice

Dan Pfeiffer is a CNN contributor, co-hosts a podcast titled “Pod Save America” and authored a book titled, “Yes We (Still) Can,” and is a former adviser to President Barack Obama. He tweeted the following on Feb. 5th at 10:49 PM:

“Stacey Abrams should run for President.” 

This was after the former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee successfully gave the party’s response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address. Abrams, 45, is one of the shining stars in the post-Obama Democratic Party. Her gubernatorial campaign garnered worldwide attention. Abrams believes everyone should benefit in Georgia’s economy, not just a selected few. Access, fairness and opportunity are three of Abrams’s that echoed what Obama preached in a sacrosanct manner eleven years ago. However, Abrams ran a campaign that captivated celebrities and the middle-class alike.

However, does this mean she should jump into the crowded ring of Presidential politics or run for Senate in the 2020 election?

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, have implored her to run in 2020 against Senator David Perdue, a Republican, but longtime friends said Abrams had long had her heart set on being governor.

The governor’s race would not take place until 2022 setting up a rematch against Governor Brian Kemp.

Almost six weeks removed from delivering the Democratic response, Abrams’s popularity has remained steady. Leah Daughtry, former chairwoman of the party convention, said Abrams was “just as good as a candidate as any — and maybe even better than some.” Amanda Litman, the former email director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, said, “If she wants to be, she will be president one day — whether it’s 2020 or 2032 or 2040.”

The fact is the Democratic Party is in uncharted territory after the “Blue Wave” swept through the House of Representatives. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) are among the ethnically diverse women representing the Democrats in key positions in Congress.

However, the Democratic Party at-large is facing an election includes questions of ideology and identity that is not only inclusive of what politics used to be, but also having the ability to define a vision that can set the journey of political discourse, inclusion and diversity for generations to come.

If this is why Abrams is considering running for President, she’s got a valid point. She looks at the sudden change in the landscape and believes this could be the opportunity to strike while the proverbial iron is hot.

“In the spreadsheet with all the jobs I wanted to do, 2028 would be the earliest I would be ready to stand for president because I would have done the work I thought necessary to be effective at that job,” Abrams said March 11th at South by Southwest.

Abrams’s ability to blend a hard-left and progressive message while championing unity and togetherness that attracts more centrists is a rare talent in today’s political environment . She is not trying to out-Trump the sitting President. Nor, did she out-Trump her gubernatorial opponent, Brian Kemp.

“She has certainly earned the right to be taken seriously as a national player,” said the Rev. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. “It’s just the old assumptions of race and gender that make it difficult for people to give her the credit she deserves.”

Under the old Democratic Party, race and gender would be the reasons why Abrams would be discouraged from running. However, in this current environment and with this crop of candidates, Abrams has an equal chance compared to her counterparts. That’s all she would ask.

This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Voice

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