Stacey Abrams Apparently Still Thinking Of Running For President For Some Reason

Stacey Abrams, best known for losing the race for Governor of Georgia in 2018, is still apparently thinking of getting in the race. Her chances seem slim at best.

Stacey Abrams. whose most recent political achievement was a losing campaign for Governor of Georgia, is apparently considering running for President:

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) said Thursday that she has not ruled out entering the crowded Democratic primary field, though she said she has not made a decision yet.

In an excerpt from an interview with the podcast “Pod Save America” released Thursday afternoon, the Georgia Democrat answered with the affirmative “yes” when pressed on whether she was considering a run for the White House.

“It has been reported that you are still considering joining the ever-growing Democratic presidential field. Is that true?” host Dan Pfeiffer asked in the clip.

“Yes,” Abrams responded, without elaborating.

The comments come weeks after Abrams hinted that she would make a decision on entering the presidential race before September. She recently ruled out a run for Senate following her narrow election defeat to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) last November.

“I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate,” Abrams said in a video message. “The fights to be waged require a deep commitment to the job, and I do not see the U.S. Senate as the best role for me in this battle for our nation’s future.”

She previously told MSNBC that she was “truly” thinking about a run for president, while also leaving other options open. Since her election defeat, she has focused on voter registration efforts in her home state

Prior to running for Governor, Abrams had served as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives representing a district that includes parts of the City of Atlanta and surrounding DeKalb County, a position she had held since being elected in 2006. During that time period, she rose in the ranks of the Democratic Caucus to become Minority Leader starting in 2011, serving in that position until she stepped down in 2017 to run for Governor. Prior to that, she had served as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Atlanta. As an undergraduate, she attended and graduated from Spellman College, one of the top historically African-American colleges in the country. Later, she obtained graduate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a Masters of Public Affairs, and Yale University, where she went to law school. After obtaining her J.D., Abrams worked for a top Atlanta law firm before going into public service.

She entered the race for Governor as something of an underdog but nonetheless managed to beat her primary opponent by nearly 300,000 votes. After what turned out to be a highly competitive General Election during which accusations of voter suppression were thrown about, Abrams lost the race to former Secretary of State Brian Kemp by less than 50,000 votes. Notwithstanding her loss, Abrams became something of a star in the Democratic Party. Many Democrats had hoped she would take on freshman Senator David Perdue in 2020, but as noted she announced in April that she would not run for Perdue’s seat. There has also been speculation about her being a Vice-Presidential running mate, but Abrams herself has been saying for some time that she was considering running for President.

Objectively speaking, I agree with James Joyner that Abrams really doesn’t seem qualified to serve as President at this time. Serving in a state legislature, even in a leadership position, is hardly sufficient preparation for being President. As James Joyner noted last month, though, that hardly seems to matter anymore given the results of some recent Presidential elections. Additionally, Abrams would not be the only losing candidate in the race for the Democratic nomination given the fact that Beto O’Rourke, who lost to Ted Cruz last November, is in the race already. That being said, there’s a case to be made that it may already be too late for someone in Abrams’ position to get in the race. Notwithstanding the media attention she received last fall, Abrams remains a relatively unknown person in her own party and among voters. That means its likely she’ll begin the race near the bottom of an already crowded field. How she differentiates herself in that situation is unclear.

FILED UNDER: 2020 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Gustopher says:

    Does a losing presidential campaign really help someone’s political career? I’m thinking back to the 17 Republican candidates from 2016, and the 8 or so from 2012, and I don’t see great things happening to the losers that couldn’t have happened anyway.

    The senators went back to their day jobs, the governors either ended up in the cabinet or retired, and the less experienced candidates sank back into obscurity.

    Ben Carson as HUD secretary, and Herman Cain’s Fed nomination are the only two exceptions I can think of, and they have the black-man-in-the-Republican-party-failing-upwards thing that is meant to show the Republicans aren’t racist.

    Democrats are more likely to have single-issue campaigns, to raise the priority of one issue in the national consciousness. I guess she could be doing that, but have those ever had an impact?

  2. Kylopod says:


    Does a losing presidential campaign really help someone’s political career?

    Historically, it appears to–at least among Republicans. Many of the GOP nominees in modern times had at least one previous unsuccessful run for the nomination (Romney, McCain, Dole, HW Bush, Reagan), as did a few Dems (Hillary, Al Gore). Several ended up as a vp candidate if not vp (Biden, Edwards, HW Bush, Gore). Bernie Sanders may or may not win the nomination this time, but it’s hard to argue he didn’t benefit from his unsuccessful 2016 run.

    Of course winning the nomination then losing in the general is usually seen as a career dead-end–at least since Nixon. Running in the primaries and failing to win the nomination is a lot less likely to do harm; for many, it’s an opportunity.

  3. Kathy says:

    I wonder if any of the Democrats currently running intend to merely score a book deal, like Bernie did, and earn a few million from it.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    I imagine the idea is to challenge Kamala Harris for the veep slot. Right now if Biden wins he has to pick Harris. If Buttigieg wins, probably ditto. Abrams could take the veep slot and possibly tip Georgia, whereas we already own California.

  5. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: all of those people were far more accomplished than Abrams, Beto or Buttigieg.

    Not necessarily better, but they were all Senators and Governors.

    Maybe it’s just that this is the first campaign where we have had a fair number of plausible candidates that are so light on experience. She and Beto are best known for narrowly losing statewide elections, and Buttigieg is a small city mayor. With the polarization of America, and their states being pretty red, skipping a level on their way up might be their best chance, but it’s odd.

    If Beto didn’t have a turtle named Gus, would anyone still be paying attention to him?

  6. Jax says:

    @Gustopher: There’s a guy who’s devoted his entire Twitter feed to photos of Beto standing on something. It’s pretty funny, really, and I like Beto. 😉 He’s just not ready this time around. Cabinet-level, definitely, and maybe in a couple cycles it will be a serious Presidential run.

  7. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:


    Does a losing presidential campaign really help someone’s political career?

    In countries where there is a runoff there is the phenomen of the politician whose only purpose in life is to run for the President and then lose in the first round of voting. They are rewarded with TV exposure, they go to the debates and and then they are forgotten by everybody until the next election(One of my issues with the Brazilian left are the small left-of-center parties running these pathetic candidates instead of trying to win seats on Congress).

    Specially in the left these vanity candidacies are either unproductive or damage candidates that have a chance of winning.

    These candidates that run in the primaries to then lose are the same thing. They appear on TV and they go to the debates. Maybe the solution is to stop rewarding candidates that run vanity campaigns – specially for people that could be running for Senate or governor.

  8. Kylopod says:


    Maybe it’s just that this is the first campaign where we have had a fair number of plausible candidates that are so light on experience.

    I think the conventions of what constitutes legitimate experience for a presidential candidate evolve over time. When Obama first ran, he was considered by many people to be ridiculously under-qualified. By now hardly anyone blinks an eye at other first-term Senators seeking the presidency (e.g. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Kamala Harris, etc.).

    The first time Reagan ran, back in 1968, he’d only been governor for little over a year, and he was best known as a retired actor. As Back to the Future immortalized, there was a time when the idea of a President Reagan seemed just as outlandish as a President Trump would later on.

    Still, it’s notable that, for all the talk about how Trump has lowered the bar, the main Democratic contenders right now are all people with some elected experience; despite early speculation about the likes of Oprah, the Rock, or Michael Avenatti entering the race, there are no celebrities, business executives, or other nonpoliticians in sight. So even though there’s definitely a “Why not me?” dynamic in this race, at least Dems don’t seem to be vying for their own version of Trump (and thank God for that).