* Stacey Abrams could play a significant role in the Biden campaign. As the feisty, eloquent, African-American female who came close to becoming governor of Georgia in 2018, Abrams, 46, could help gin up the minority vote with a high-profile, surrogate presence. The other night she appeared with Joe Biden on MSNBC to weigh in on voting rights–and their partisan suppression in certain states.
But Abrams doesn’t just want a President Biden; she also wants a Vice President Abrams. She has been publicly lobbying for a place on the ticket, and that hasn’t gone over well with a lot of influential Democrats. There are a couple of rules of thumb that she’s ignoring. First, when you haven’t held office beyond your state and the last race you ran, you lost, the timing is hardly propitious. Second, it’s normally not advisable to, in effect, campaign for the VP slot, even if gender-and-race demographics are weighing heavily. If a black female is on the ticket, it’s much more likely to be Sen. Kamala Harris, who, notably, is endorsing Biden and, even more notably, is following the playbook that discourages self promotion.
* Reality check: “It’s the terrible irony of this moment,” assessed a former Obama White House official who preferred anonymity. “The crisis is perfectly set up for Biden. It calls for the things he’s so good at–showing empathy; working the instruments of government; providing steady, competent leadership. At the same time, the mediums he now has to use do not play to his strengths as a communicator.”
* “If you’re going to succeed at defeating Donald Trump on the internet, you don’t do it by trying to be Trump or by trying to be Trump’s foil and play his game. You do it by being empathetic, compassionate, and forging connections to people.”–Rob Flaherty, the Biden campaign’s digital director.
* COVID restraints notwithstanding, Barack Obama can certainly be a game-changer. He both respects and likes Joe Biden–as opposed to respecting Hillary Clinton in 2016–and was Biden’s ultimate VP vetter. Too much is at stake with another Trump term for the first African-American president not to be a change-agent presence even if the hustings are virtual. Cable talk shows, political ads and podcasts should be forthcoming. The minority vote has to get back to where it was when he was at the top of the ticket.
And look for more clips of that 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner where Obama filleted Trump’s ego. “The Donald,” of course, saw it as abject humiliation–not sardonic payback for his efforts to advance his high-profile, Obama-“birther” conspiracy theory.