Joe Biden hasn’t officially announced whether he’s running for president in 2020 or not, but he sure is trying to take up a lot of news space among actual candidates. The man who once co-launched a thousand delightful memes must be surprised that he isn’t receiving universal love for dipping his toes in the prospective campaign waters. It’s similar to what we’ve seen with Beto O’Rourke. Sure, both of these men have a ton of support. But many more voters are asking them to move aside to make room for more relevant candidates.
Last week, it was reported that Biden was considering adding some relevancy to his potential campaign by tossing out Stacey Abrams’ name as someone he would consider for his VP. It was a move that appeared immediately transparent–a gross attempt to catch onto the coattails of a black woman’s rising star. According to Axios, Abrams “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.’”
As Stephen A. Crockett, Jr. wrote at The Root at the time, this sure seemed like Biden was viewing “black women [as a] prop for votes.” Abrams would have the potential to seriously attract voters of color. He’s likely also hoping she would go far to erase his horrible treatment of Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing, which has been back in public discussion lately thanks to the deja vu of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against Brett Kavanaugh.
“To this day, I regret I couldn’t give her the kind of hearing she deserved. I wish I could have done something.” My man, you were the Senate Judiciary Chairman. You ran the hearing. You could have, in fact, done something. https://t.co/YXBCR9TV3v
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 27, 2019
There were others arguing that it’s dangerous and insulting to assume that Abrams had no agency in this move, and that Biden’s interest in her should automatically be reduced to tokenism. Maybe she was on board for this announcement? After all, Axios did say that the two had recently taken a meeting together. (Of course, Abrams has been taking a lot of meetings lately, including with other 2020 candidates.)
As it turns out, NOPE! Abrams has been doing a number of interviews to promote her new book, Lead From the Outside, and this morning, when asked by the hosts of The View whether the Biden rumors were true, her response was simple, graceful, and left no room for doubt.
Her answer? “You don’t run for second place.”
JUST IN: Asked about rumors Joe Biden might consider selecting her as his 2020 running mate, Stacey Abrams tells @TheView, “I think you don’t run for second place.”
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) March 27, 2019
When asked directly if she’s considering a run for president herself, she says she hasn’t decided, but she hasn’t ruled it out. After an unsuccessful gubernatorial race against Brian Kemp–or, let’s be honest, her real opponent: voter suppression–she says, “Part of my opportunity right now is that I have a number of options I didn’t know about before. It’s the Senate race, it’s possibly running for governor again, it’s possibly running for President. And my responsibility is to take seriously the opportunity to those who are asking me, but to make sure I’m the right person, this is the right time, and it’s the right job.”
Now that that’s settled, let’s let Biden remove himself from Stacey Abrams’ narrative. Her book tour doesn’t need to be dominated by questions about his not-even-declared presidential run, and when she’s decided what the right time and job are for her, she’ll let us know.
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