Campaign

Stacey Abrams says she hasn’t heard from Biden campaign about VP search

Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams says she has not heard from Joe Biden’s presidential campaign as it starts its vetting process to pick a nominee for vice president. 

“I have said many times that if called I will answer, but I have not received any calls,” Abrams, who rose to prominence when she narrowly lost Georgia’s gubernatorial race in 2018, said Wednesday night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Abrams, also a former leader in the Georgia state House, has been frequently floated as a possible running mate for Biden, particularly as pressure ramps up for the former vice president to pick a woman of color as protests erupt across the nation against systemic racism.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is seen as a favorite to be Biden’s running mate, and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) are seen as other contenders. All three are African American. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) have also been cited as possible contenders to be Biden’s No. 2.

Biden has already vowed to select a woman as his running mate and has said he plans to roll out his pick by Aug. 1. But he’s received increased pressure to pick a woman of color, with activists saying he should note the role minority voters played in boosting his presidential campaign after early primary defeats and the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis. 

Abrams has waged a public campaign to cast herself as Biden’s best pick, bucking precedent from past cycles when possible running mate picks would avoid publicly discussing their chances of joining the presidential ticket.

“I have the capacity to attract voters by motivating typically ignored communities,” Abrams said in April. “I have a strong history of executive and management experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. I’ve spent 25 years in independent study of foreign policy. I am ready to help advance an agenda of restoring America’s place in the world. If I am selected, I am prepared and excited to serve.”

Abrams explained Tuesday that she does not demur when asked if she would be an effective running mate because she must advocate for black women beyond herself.

“I know that when I’m asked the questions ‘Are you qualified? Can you do this?’ that I’m not just answering for myself. I’m being asked this question because I don’t look like what people usually look like when they are considered for these jobs,” she said.

“And I’ve learned over the course of my life, starting out as a young black girl in Mississippi that if you don’t speak up for yourself, then people will take that as permission to underestimate you. But more importantly, it gives them permission to underestimate everyone who looks like you, everyone who reminds them of you,” she said. 

“So for every young woman, every young girl, every person of color who has been told not to dream, my responsibility is not only to dream but to say it aloud and to be prepared to do the job if asked. And so, I don’t demur because I don’t know how.”

Tags Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Stephen Colbert Val Demings

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