Back in November, right before Thanksgiving, I traveled to Georgia to talk with Stacey Abrams as part of FiveThirtyEight’s “When Women Run” project. The 46-year-old former minority leader of the Georgia House made waves in 2018 during her bid to become the nation’s first black woman governor. Abrams lost the election by 1.4 percentage points, but rather famously refused to concede defeat (while acknowledging she would not be recognized as the official winner), saying that her opponent, Brian Kemp, the white Republican secretary of state, had waged a concerted voter suppression campaign aimed predominantly against black voters. Since 2018, Abrams has focused her efforts on Fair Fight, a group she formed to promote fair elections, but she’s often brought up in the news as a potential presidential running mate. We sat down at a restaurant near her office to talk about that speculation — and her own presidential ambitions, which she admitted to openly — and what it’s been like for her to be a single black woman in politics.
“A feud between Beyoncé and Taylor Swift”
In the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary, Abrams ran against another woman named Stacey — Stacey Evans, who is white — and she said it soon became clear that some of the media coverage of the race would be colored not just by gender, but race too.
I asked Abrams if she ever tired of people asking whether the country is ready for a black woman to hold executive office — of any kind. “When something new is on the horizon, we are usually both equally curious and afraid,” Abrams said.
Vice President Abrams?
I asked Abrams how it feels to be discussed as a potential vice presidential pick as a way to ‘balance out’ a white nominee at the top of the ticket. “I accept that I exist in the political zeitgeist in a very specific way,” she said.
And what about President Abrams?
Abrams isn’t shy talking about her presidential ambitions. When I asked her if she thought the country would elect her in the next 20 years she simply said, “Yes, I do.”
You can watch the full interview below.
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