The flattering profiles of Stacey Abrams are coming so fast now that it’s hard to keep up. Two days ago the Washington Post Magazine published a piece titled “The Power of Stacey Abrams.” The best way to summarize the piece is probably by showing you this photo that was published with it:
It looks like she’s trying out for a Harry Potter stage show. All that’s missing is a magic wand. But it really does match the glowing tone of the piece:
When she is finally introduced the women shout and leap to their feet. Young women stand on chairs, camera phones flash. Abrams, who appears both amused and slightly disturbed by the fuss over her, takes control of the chaotic scene…
Pandemonium ensues as she walks to the far left of the stage, like a runway supermodel, stops on a dime, poses, tilts her head slightly and smiles. Camera flashes explode. She next pivots and walks slowly to the center of the stage, freezes there and repeats the pose. Again, the flashes explode. Abrams is summoning her inner actress, and she is both enjoying the moment and getting through it to get to the conversation. She then pivots and walks to the far right of the stage, same.
Today the NY Times published another profile of Abrams titled, “Stacey Abrams Wants More Than the Vice Presidency.” This one is slightly less glowing but still opens with the same kind of Beatlemania for Stacey, albeit online in this case:
The clapping hands appeared on the screen — one, two, a flurry of emojis — flashing under the Facebook Live feed of the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, Stacey Abrams. It was the socially distanced derivative of the applause she has often encountered in the past year or so, since her narrow loss in the race for governor of Georgia in 2018.
Ms. Abrams was addressing the virtual audience of the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention. She was there last Saturday to talk voter suppression, the focal point of her work since 2018, and by the looks of the comments, had found a receptive crowd. “Go Stacey!” popped one, then, 13 seconds later: “Stacy for VP!”
The one big hurdle every Abrams piece has to contend with is the fact that she lost the 2018 election for Governor in Georgia. The Post profile takes this head on and suggests she was robbed:
Abrams is the first black woman in U.S. history to have won the gubernatorial nomination of either major party. She garnered more votes than any Democrat who has run statewide in Georgia. She lost by just over 50,000 votes to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
Kemp was not only her opponent, but his office oversaw everything to do with voting, including how the voter registration rolls were purged. It would be like Tom Brady not only being the quarterback of his team, but the referee and the scorekeeper as well. Kemp’s office cut nearly 700,000 names from the rolls in the two years leading to the election, and more than 200 polling places were closed, primarily in poor and minority neighborhoods.
Abrams chose not to concede to Kemp, because she believes voters were disenfranchised.
What the Post profile doesn’t mention is that the paper’s own fact-checker looked at these claims and pointed out there are pretty strong rebuttals to these points.
- Even if every provisional ballot not counted and every rejected absentee ballot had been awarded to Abrams, it would not have necessitated a runoff, much less overcome Abrams’s vote deficit.
- The 2018 turnout was far greater than any previous midterm, according to FiveThirtyEight, and more African Americans voted in 2018 than in 2016.
- Even if 54,000 to 84,000 had not voted because precinct closings, “Abrams would have had to have won between 82% and 100% of those additional votes to close the gap,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said.
- Georgia purges lots of voters because of death, moving or not voting in recent elections, but it also makes it very easy to register because of automatic voter registration (AVR) when people obtain driver’s licenses. Registration has grown 94 percent in Georgia because of automatic voter registration, according to the Brennan Center.
So, at best, the profile is giving half the story. As for the NY Times’ profile, it takes the opposite approach, breezing over her loss and the months she spent refusing to say she had lost [emphasis added]:
As the first black woman to run as either major party’s candidate for governor in any state, Ms. Abrams became the face of the issue of voting rights in 2018, after narrowly losing her race to Brian Kemp, a Republican. She argued that racially motivated voter suppression had sealed Mr. Kemp’s victory, and shortly after launched Fair Fight, a PAC dedicated to expanding voter education and ballot access across the United States.
That’s it. The Times doesn’t really explain how far out she’s been on this much less try to defend her.
How long has Stacey Abrams been campaigning to be Vice President? I’m not actually sure when it began but I know that Allahpundit wrote about her appearance on the View three full months ago when she said she was ready to be VP for whoever wound up being the nominee. “It would be doing a disservice to every woman of color, every woman of ambition…for me to say no,” she said at the time.
Last month she told Elle magazine she would be an “excellent running mate.” She also went on the View again to suggest that it would be problematic if Biden didn’t pick a black woman as his running mate. Toward the end of the month there was a report that she was calling up other Democrats asking them to push her to Biden. She also dismissed Tara Reade’s allegations against Biden.
Is all of this shameless self-promotion and sucking up going to work? According to a separate Washington Post story published yesterday, it still looks like a stretch to many Biden supporters:
Many of his top allies do not see her as his best choice, especially at a time when the pandemic has put a premium on governing experience. “Stacey Abrams — is she ready on Day 1? I don’t know. I don’t think so,” said John Morgan, a Florida trial lawyer and top Biden donor.
Biden, 77, would be the oldest president in history. Many Democrats are openly questioning whether he would seek a second term, and they say his running mate should be someone who can ease concerns about his longevity and reassure voters she could instantly step into the presidency.
But Abrams has already offered an answer to that in the Times piece published today: “Asked if she was prepared to be president on Day 1 if needed, amid a pandemic no less, she answered with an unequivocal ‘yes.’”
It’s just that simple for Abrams. And the media keeps offering her these profiles in which she can keep making her case. She really has become the media’s new darling, their new Beto O’Rourke. And before O’Rourke there was Wendy Davis who also spawned a cottage industry in media puff pieces. Has a conservative ever had this many outlets tripping over themselves to publish flattering profiles?