I Was Wrong About Stacey Abrams
I don’t normally follow the politics in other states but when Stacey Abrams ran for Governor in Georgia in 2018, I sat up and took notice.
A Black woman running for governor against a White man in a southern state.
This was going to be an exciting matchup. And it was. Her opponent, the Secretary of State of Georgia, Brian Kemp, ran a classic dirty tricks campaign against her. But what ultimately led to her defeat was the wholesale cancellation of voter registrations during 2016 and 2017. As Secretary of State, Kemp was in charge of elections and voter registration. Over half a million registrations were cancelled, most of them minority voters.
Kemp “won” by 50,000 votes. Meaning he stole the election.
But Ms. Abrams won in the court of public opinion. As the saying goes, the world was her oyster. She gave the Democratic response to Trump’s 2019 SOTU. She was invited to run for the Senate in 2020. There was even talk of her running for president in 2020.
She passed on all suggestions of political office in favor of working on voter suppression issues in Georgia and elsewhere under the auspices of Fair Fight Action, an organization that she founded for that purpose.
I was disappointed that she chose not to run for political office, but ultimately everyone has to follow their calling. Back in the 70s when I was marching for women’s rights, one of the issues that we were fighting for was for women to be able to choose their careers, not be shunted into just a few choices like teacher or secretary, or to be told by men what jobs they would be allowed to hold. I was happy that she was able to make her own choice of career.
My disappointment has turned to admiration. The choice she made was strategic. Farsighted. Brilliant. What’s the number one issue in the upcoming presidential election? No, it’s not Trump’s handling of the pandemic. It’s not even which candidate can pass a cognitive impairment test.
Voter registration. Access to voting. Voting machines. Mail-in ballots. Absentee ballots.
And who is the Queen of Voting Issues? Stacey Abrams of course. She has positioned herself to be in the thick of all the fights over voting, before, during and after the 2020 election. She is setting herself up perfectly for a future run for office. Maybe even the presidency in 2024. Unless Biden’s VP runs and chooses Ms. Abrams for her VP.
An all-women ticket in 2024. The thought makes me giddy.
I’m excited to see what the future brings for Stacey Abrams. She is smart, talented and obviously has her future all mapped out. I can’t wait to see her reach her goals.