As Joe Biden finishes the final steps necessary to launch a national presidential campaign, he recently took time to meet with a popular Georgia Democrat who many analysts believe has a serious shot at a Vice Presidential pick. Stacey Abrams came close to being elected Governor of Georgia, but her campaign captured national attention and her spirit gripped many voters who believe she has a bright future in the Democratic Party.
There is no coincidence that Biden took time to meet with Abrams, and it’s likely we can speculate as to why:
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams were meeting privately Thursday in Washington, bringing together two starkly different faces of their party as they both weigh their political futures.
Biden, 76, who served as President Barack Obama’s closest adviser, is on the cusp of deciding whether he’ll make his third run for the presidency. Abrams, 45, narrowly lost the Georgia governor’s race last November. She is being heavily recruited to run for the Senate in 2020, but she’s not ruled out making a presidential bid herself. She also could be considered as a vice presidential running mate.
A person close to Abrams confirmed the meeting, saying it was set at Biden’s request. The person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The meeting stands out among the high-powered political huddles that are common as a presidential election season takes shape.
Biden is prone to gaffes, but politically, he’s sharp as a tack. Biden’s spending the time necessary to prepare a campaign rollout without ignoring the fact that he’s an older, white man amid a field of younger, more diverse Democratic candidates. Should he win the nomination, he’ll need someone to balance the ticket, likely a female.
Stacey Abrams would bring the balance, and that excitement needed to propel a national campaign. Furthermore, she’s from the deep south and would have wide appeal among black voters in her home state and other areas.
There is chatter, however, that Abrams is considering launching a presidential campaign of her own, according to the same story:
In an interview with the Associated Press this week, Abrams largely avoided the 2020 speculation, saying she must decide first whether she wants to challenge Republican Sen. David Perdue, a freshman who has emerged as one of Trump’s most vocal supporters on Capitol Hill.
“There certainly is a connectivity between that and other 2020 opportunities,” she said, referring to “ephemeral” options like the vice presidency, something that “requires other people to make decisions about what they would like” versus deciding whether to run herself.
Biden told senior Democrat he is giving 2020 presidential race ‘a shot,’ according to The Hill
Abrams repeated her intentions to announce her Senate plans in early April.
Much like the current path of Texas’ Beto O’Rourke, Abrams lost her race last November but has many other opportunities sitting before her, including a Senate run and/or a Presidential run. I would be surprised if she chose the latter since the field is so crowded right now as it stands. She’s fairly young and if she were picked up in the VP slot, she’d have a long political career ahead of her and could always go back to challenge one of her home state Republican Senators if she didn’t make it to the White House in 2020.
A Biden-Abrams ticket is probably along the lines of what I would expect if Biden should win the nomination. In order to avoid being usurped by the diversity around him in the field, he’ll have to begin looking down the road right now to signal the kind of Vice President he’d be looking for.