Former Vice President Joseph Biden, per various sources, appears very likely to announce in the near future that he’s running for president in 2020.
Biden appears aware that some parts of the current Democratic electorate may hesitate to support a white male for president, especially one who is 76-years-old and has a history of some less-than-progressive stances. And now the former vice president is reportedly weighing a dramatic and unusual move to address that vulnerability.
Per Axios, advisers to Biden are “debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.” Abrams, who is an African-American woman, was a legislative leader in Georgia and ran for governor of that state in 2018.
Abrams lost that race, although various questions were raised about the counting of votes, starting with Republican candidate Brian Kemp continuing to serve as secretary of state during the election and not recusing himself, per Rolling Stone. Abrams, when ending her bid for governor last November, made a point of not conceding to Kemp, stating that democracy had “failed,” per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to the Axios story, Biden’s advisers are deeply divided about the Abrams idea, with those opposed pointing out that such a move would be perceived as a gimmick, and that they fear Biden would be asked on a debate stage why he chose Abrams as opposed to any of the other candidates. The wording of the story indicates that the faction in Biden’s camp opposed to the early naming of Abrams was the source of it.
Abrams drew mostly positive reviews after giving the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address in January, per The Washington Post.
SCOOP: Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president. https://t.co/6OHTUKIlTs— Axios (@axios) March 21, 2019
Biden and Abrams met in Washington last week, per The Associated Press, although neither has commented on what was discussed. Abrams has not endorsed Biden or any other candidate, nor has she ruled out running for president in 2020 herself. Some Democrats have asked that if Beto O’Rourke, who impressed lots of Democrats on his way to losing a Senate race in 2018, is running for president, why shouldn’t Abrams run as well?
Abrams has also considered running for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia in 2020 against Republican David Perdue, a move favored by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. Abrams said, per the AP report, that she will announce a decision about the Senate race in April.