If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If a Democrat trying desperately to be chosen as her party’s vice-presidential choice endorses candidates, does it matter?
Stacey Abrams, the self-proclaimed governor of Georgia, is doing everything humanly possible to remain relevant in news coverage as Team Biden goes through the process of picking a running mate for Status Quo Joe. She is all but proclaiming herself as Biden’s choice and the media is happy to indulge her.
In case you haven’t noticed, the push is on for Stacey Abrams. Not only does she think she is Biden’s obvious choice but so do many in the media. As soon as good old Joe pledged to choose a woman as his running mate, Abrams became a top contender, according to press reports. At first it seemed like standard pandering for two important groups of Democrat voters – black voters and women voters. Then magazines and newspapers jumped on the bandwagon and are in the process of turning her into some kind of superhero/superstar.
Now, in order to prove how important she is, apparently, Abrams has announced her endorsement of seven senate candidates. All of the Senate races are considered consequential in the November election, as the Democrats are working to take back the Senate from Republicans. She says she will raise money for each of them and work to get out the vote.
The candidates are running in battleground states, as well as Southern states, where Abrams has urged the party to invest in growing populations of potential Democratic voters for candidates Mark Kelly in Arizona, John Hickenlooper in Colorado, Barbara Bollier in Kansas, Sara Gideon in Maine, Mike Espy in Mississippi, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina and Jaime Harrison in South Carolina.
“Leader Abrams will headline a virtual event, mostly high-dollar fundraising events, for each candidate in the coming weeks and leverage her social media networks to help the candidates gain support,” Abrams spokesman Seth Bringman said. “These efforts are part of her commitment to help Democrats take back the U.S. Senate majority, a path that also includes two U.S. Senate races in Georgia.”
Take, for example, Jaime Harrison in South Carolina. He is an African-American Democrat running against Senator Lindsey Graham. We can blame Rep. Clyburn and African-American voters in South Carolina for making Joe Biden’s nomination a thing. Harrison is scooping donors from Graham, at least according to a South Carolina newspaper. Some donors to Graham in past elections are not particularly happy with his alliance with Trump in Washington so they are taking their checkbooks and moving over to Harrison. It makes you wonder how strongly they were really Republicans, doesn’t it? It’s unlikely Graham will lose, but here we are. Harrison calls Abrams an inspiration and that her race is a good playbook for Democrats in the South. But she lost, something Democrats (especially Abrams herself) don’t want to admit.
Mark Kelly in Arizona, husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords and former astronaut, is raking in the big Bloomberg bucks so it’s not surprising that Abrams wants to publicly support him – she’ll likely need Bloomberg money down the road if she runs for office again.
In statements provided ahead of her official endorsement, Abrams called Jaime Harrison, the associate chair of the Democratic National Committee who is seeking to block Sen. Lindsey Graham from a fourth term, “a strong leader for the people of South Carolina” who “will work hard to address inequalities” such as in rural health care and infrastructure.
For Arizona, Abrams said former astronaut Mark Kelly “has a proven record of service to our country.” John Hickenlooper, the former Colorado governor and 2020 presidential candidate, “is the one to help us cross the finish line” for a Democratic Senate majority, Abrams said. Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon “will fight for expanded access to quality affordable health care” if elected to the Senate in place of Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
Mike Espy, a former Mississippi congressman and U.S. agriculture secretary, “is ready to lead on Day One,” Abrams said, while former state Sen. Cal Cunningham is Democrats’ best choice to succeed in North Carolina, “a must-win state for the U.S. Senate in 2020.”
Barbara Bollier, a Kansas physician and state senator who switched from the GOP in 2018, is “uniquely qualified to help address the disparities dividing America,” including on affordable health care, said Abrams, who is planning to hold virtual campaign events for each of the candidates getting her backing.
These were Abrams’ first endorsements outside the state of Georgia. She has also endorsed the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in Georgia. Espy ran in a special election in 2018 against Cindy Hyde-Smith and lost. He is the former Secretary of Agriculture during the Clinton administration who went on to be elected to the House. He was involved in an ethics charge and indicted by a Grand Jury, and later acquitted at trial.
Abrams hasn’t officially endorsed these candidates but released a statement of her intended endorsements yesterday. It’s probably no coincidence that she did so to counter any publicity garnered by other Democrat women that Team Biden is considering for the ticket. Both Amy Klobuchar and Val Demmings were mentioned on cable television shows yesterday as confirming that Biden’s campaign was vetting them for vice-president. As bitter and victimized as Abrams has appeared since she lost the Georgia race, hold on to your hat if she is snubbed by Joe Biden.