Axios reported this morning that former Vice President Joe Biden’s closest advisors said that he may consider Stacey Abrams, the woman who lost the Georgia governor race, as his vice president. From Axios:

Why it matters: The popular Georgia Democrat, who at age 45 is 31 years younger than Biden, would bring diversity and excitement to the ticket — showing voters, in the words of a close source, that Biden “isn’t just another old white guy.”

  • But the decision poses considerable risk, and some advisers are flatly opposed. Some have pointed out that in a Democratic debate, he could be asked why no one on the stage would be a worthy running mate.
  • Advisers also know that the move would be perceived as a gimmick.

Speculation over the partnership began last week when Abrams met with Biden in DC last week. The Associated Press learned that Biden requested the meeting. Neither one offered details about what happened during their lunch.

Abrams has brushed aside any speculation about 2020 because she wants to “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.”

Even though she lost the governor race, Abrams has remained in the limelight. She claimed the loss happened due to “widespread voter suppression during the 2018 election cycle, which she further claims is racially motivated.” She also gave the Democrat response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union.

The Left Responds

The left has shown a split response to this news. Over at Vox, Matthew Yglesias doesn’t bash Biden over Abrams, but he voiced his reasons why picking a vice president in the primary is not a good idea:

The selection of a vice president is one of the most substantively important decisions a president makes. You want to draw from the broadest possible talent pool, and making the selection early is antithetical to that on a whole number of levels — most importantly because a lot of key talent won’t necessarily be willing to embrace your cause so early. (Including the rest of the field running for the nomination.)

Locking yourself into the relatively narrow category of “politicians who are willing to make an early Joe Biden endorsement” ends up excluding a huge number of people, could prove tactically disadvantageous during a general election, and would be a blown opportunity to improve governance if Biden won.

Jonathan Chait at The New Yorker finds the Abrams pick brilliant. He believes the pick “would help address Biden’s cringe-inducing and sometimes ghastly history of retrograde positions on segregation and criminal justice.” He also thinks it will help Biden’s run “feel more serious.” Biden has a problem with gaffes, which caused his previous presidential races to move him “to irrelevance.” Chait continued:

Paradoxically, he is a polling front-runner who needs to get the press corps to take him seriously.

From that standpoint, it’s odd to see “inevitability” treated as an argument against joining early with Abrams. “Naming an early running mate could help feed into an air of inevitability,” one senior Democrat who admires Biden tells CNN, which might be “problematic for his candidacy.” So the campaign would appear inevitable, like Hillary Clinton? Or Mitt Romney? Or George W. Bush? Or Al Gore? Or other candidates who were treated as prohibitive front-runners from the beginning of the race and then … won the primary? That’s bad?

It also puts Biden in a bind. If he decides not to pick Abrams the left will probably scream RACIST at him. On Twitter, people have said that Biden is using Abrams. Others have made it seem like his argument to pick her to not look like “another old white man” is not working.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.