“Stacey has a plan, and it’s only a surprise to people who haven’t paid attention. She plans to become the first Black woman governor in the United States next year. And then run for president in 2024 if Biden does not, or in 2028 if he does.” — Newsweek, November 2021
The quote comes from "an adviser who asked not to be identified to speak freely about her thinking."
Fast-forward to Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. President BidenJoe BidenFox News reporter says Biden called him after 'son of a b----' remark Peloton responds after another TV character has a heart attack on one of its bikes Defense & National Security — Pentagon puts 8,500 troops on high alert MORE and Vice President Harris visited Abrams's home turf of Georgia to push their "voting rights" legislation, which is already on life support. Democrats — especially on the increasingly powerful far-left — are demanding the filibuster be blown up to pass said legislation.
But even if that did occur, the Blue Team still has only 48 of the 50 votes needed to pass the bill in the Senate, with Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinEven working piecemeal, Democrats need a full agenda for children Poll: 30 percent of Americans say they approve of the job Congress is doing Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaPoll: 30 percent of Americans say they approve of the job Congress is doing Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law Democrats ask for information on specialized Border Patrol teams MORE (D-Ariz.) wisely withholding support.
It is stunning, to the point of disturbing, that the president and most of his party are focused on voting rights when the subject isn't on the minds of most Americans. A recent AP poll shows that 66 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction. (The number was just 49 percent when Biden took office.)
But the rubber truly meets the road when those surveyed are asked what the government needs to prioritize moving ahead in 2022: 68 percent said the economy, which is experiencing 40-year high in inflation. Voting generated just 6 percent.
No matter: With no Build Back Better legislation to sign into law and everything from inflation and COVID-19 cases to violent crime continuing to skyrocket; with education becoming a huge negative for Democrats (See: Virginia elections, 2021) and the border crisis continuing while Afghanistan is run by terrorists (again), the Biden-Harris administration is doing whatever it takes to appease the Squad wing of the Democratic Party by attempting to ram through this voting bill — the filibuster, Constitution and states’ rights be damned.
In order to apply maximum pressure and gain maximum media attention for the Georgia visit, Biden-Harris needed the presence and support of Abrams, the Democrats’ most high-profile voting rights activist. But out of nowhere, she pulled out, citing a scheduling conflict and only offered support via Twitter.
Uh-huh. Because when the president and vice president come to visit to push your signature issue, there are more important things to attend to.
So why the snub? One reason is that even before completing one year in office, Biden and Harris are toxic to members of their own party. A December Hill/Harris-X poll found that 37 percent of Democrats don't want Biden to seek reelection, a remarkably high number so early into a first term. Most voters overall don't want Biden to run, including nearly 6-in-10 independents. And some of the harsh criticism is now on the record, a real sign of Biden's weakness within the ranks.
“We do not need any more speeches, we don’t need any more platitudes,” James Woodall, former president of the N.A.A.C.P. of Georgia, told the New York Times this week. “We don’t need any more photo ops. We need action, and that actually is in the form of the John LewisJohn LewisDespite Senate setbacks, the fight for voting rights is far from over Arizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema McConnell says he made 'inadvertent omission' in voting remarks amid backlash MORE Voting Rights Act, as well as the Freedom to Vote Act — and we need that immediately.” Needless to say, Woodall and the NAACP of Georgia also declined to join the president and vice president on Tuesday.
Corbin Trent, co-founder of the progressive No Excuses PAC, was even more blunt in an interview with Politico.
“[Biden's] deeply unpopular. He’s old as shit. He’s largely been ineffective, unless we’re counting judges or whatever the hell inside-baseball scorecard we’re using. And I think he’ll probably get demolished in the midterms. People will smell opportunity, and D.C. is filled with people who want to be president.”
Trent is a former communications director for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMan who threatened to kill Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi pleads guilty to federal charges These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Missouri House Democrat becomes latest to test positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-N.Y.).
The prospect of an 81-year-old Biden on the campaign trail is a disconcerting one to many Democrats, who already know that the House will be firmly in Republican hands come November. And if Biden-Harris got so little done despite controlling the House, Senate and Oval Office, what will this presidency look like after a wipeout in the midterms?
More importantly, will the revolt and discord among Democrats be so strong that Biden is either primaried or pressured not to run altogether?
The Democratic bench is as weak as it has ever been. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisPoll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second To stabilize Central America, the US must craft better incentives for trade Majority in new poll say US headed in wrong direction MORE — at 32 percent approval in a recent USA Today poll — is not the answer. Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Airlines suspend US flights in response to 5G deployment AT&T, Verizon to delay 5G rollout near certain airports MORE? Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenArizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Biden stiff arms progressives on the Postal Service MORE (D-Mass.)? Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDespite Senate setbacks, the fight for voting rights is far from over Small ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-N.J.)? Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomVirginia's Youngkin gets the DeSantis treatment from media Equilibrium/Sustainability — Solar-powered cars on the EV horizon Newsom vows crackdown: Rail car looting like 'third world country' MORE (D-Calif.)? To quote John McEnroe: You cannot be serious! Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' No Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way MORE is an interesting wild card, but she's no spring chicken anymore, either. She's also lost her last two runs for the White House.
Which leaves Abrams, 48, as a potential bridge to the future for Democrats. Does she continue to insist that her election for Georgia governor was stolen from her? That it was "rigged"? Of course. But unlike Trump's claims, Abrams is praised by most of the media for her rhetoric.
In fact, it's hard to find a political figure who receives more adulation from the press these days.
Abrams will first have to win her Georgia gubernatorial race later this year, with her Republican opponent yet to be decided. (Incumbent Gov. Brian KempBrian KempOvernight Health Care — Judge pauses federal employee vaccine mandate Kemp sues Biden administration over Medicaid work requirements Predictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure MORE and Trump-backed challenger David PerdueDavid PerduePerdue proposes election police force in Georgia Kemp campaign alleges Perdue team illegally coordinating with new fundraising committee Abrams treads carefully in relationship with Biden MORE are in a dead heat.) Regardless of whom she faces, another gubernatorial loss would end any hope for Abrams 2024. Probably.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris visited Georgia to push the Democrats’ agenda on voting rights. They got blown off by those who supported them in 2020 in the process. The year isn't even two weeks old, and chaos within the party is well underway.
Chaos ultimately is a ladder.
And Stacey Abrams — the architect of sowing doubt in elections — ironically appears to be a prime candidate to make a climb to the top of her party.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist.